20 notorious worms, viruses and botnets

The earliest worms and viruses were created for geeky fun and did little harm - oh, how times have changed. Here are 20 worms, viruses and botnets that show the evolution of malware, from Creeper to Flame.

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One of first pieces of malware to combine the features of a bot and a mass-mailer, 2005's MyTob marked the beginning of the era of botnets and of cybercrime, says Lovet.

Business models designed to monetize the many botnets began to appear: installation of spyware, dispersal of spam, illegal content hosting, interception of banking credentials, blackmail, etc.

Today the revenue generated from botnets (some of which may number 20 million machines) is by some estimates several billion dollars per year. (Read The botnet hunters on CSOonline.)

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