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Knowing Nimda Worm

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The early 2000’s was era most affected by widespread malware attack because security software was not yet that advanced during that time and also operating systems during that period still had lots of security loopholes or bugs. Another factor is that we, computer users, were not yet that aware of basic security measures to avoid being hit by malware. One of the malware that wreak havoc during that era was the Nimda virus.

Nimda, spelled admin backwards, hit the internet on 2001 and spread widely affecting up to 40 million of computer systems in just 22 minutes. It is regarded as one of the malware that spread the fastest. This worm was released just one week after the 9/11 attacks which led to the speculation that Al Qaeda was behind these attacks but experts debunked this theory. Most security experts believed that this malware originated from China and have proof about their theory even if the Chinese government denied their allegations.

Nimda primarily targeted internet servers and its purpose was to slow down internet traffic. It is regarded as one of the most widespread DDoS (Direct Denial of Service) attack and spread mostly through email. Crashed web servers caused more than $10 billion in damage due to loss of productivity and revenue. A lot of web based services shut down temporarily and it took a long time remove Nimda Worm from their servers and it took longer to restore affected systems. The Nimda worm infestation opened the eyes of the computing public about the damage caused by malware that are spread through email.

The worm’s primary target were servers but it also affected personal computers using the Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, and Windows XP operating systems. It creates a backdoor to these affected personal computers and gives the author admin access giving him full control which means the author or authors of this worm can do pretty much whatever he wants on the infected computer. He can copy or destroy important files and gather important data. Users of personal computers spent lots of  time and money to remove Nimda Worm.

Life’s lessons are sometimes learned the hard way and we all learned a valuable lesson that we need to invest more and beef up our computer security.  It is also important not to open emails and download attachment’s from senders that we do not know.

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