The first half of 2008 has certainly been innovative and exciting – in terms of the most popular viruses that have attacked users' computers, that is.
This is according to Panda Security, which has published a list of the viruses that, for one reason or another, stood out during the first six months of the year.
The creepiest viruses encountered are possible MalwareProtector2008 and AdvancedXpFixer. These two malicious codes fill victims' computers with bugs – virtual cockroaches that "eat" the desktop.
The reason behind these viruses is to convince users that their computers are infected (which is not necessarily true) and for them to buy the security solution offered by this adware.
The cleanest was Tixcet.A, which cleans hard disks – literally deleting all the contents.
PGPCoder.E is a new example of ransomware which takes data on a computer hostage and asks for a ransom. Specifically, it uses an algorithm to encrypt all
information on a computer, and then demands money in return for the key needed to decrypt it. This is a good example of how real-life crime is reflected by cyber-criminals on the Web.
Romance is still a popular theme, and Nuwar (also known as Storm Worm) and Valentin.E worms used romantic themes to trick users and infect their computers.
Sometimes, creators of malicious code come up with the most unexpected functions. Displaying breaking news while carrying out malicious actions, like Romeo.C, is hard to beat in that sense. Perhaps even some of the victims have been impressed by this new programme that dutifully keeps you up-to-date on the latest news.
Manclick.A, Manclick.B and Manclick.C are malicious codes pass themselves off as other programs to make potential victims think they are installing a legitimate application instead of malware. They also redirect users to spoof bank Web pages, to collect confidential information which is then used for online fraud.
FakeDeath.A is a worm that announces the death of Fidel Castro to trick users and infect their computers. Just remember, you cannot believe all that you read.
RenameLoi.A makes an annoying noise and displays a message about the Antichrist and Judgment Day.
Possibly the coolest virus is MSNWorm.EI, a worm that displays a photo of a pig with makeup, necklaces and sunglasses.
Meanwhile, the noisiest could be the BeepBeep.A virus that emits a series of annoying beeps whenever a users access a Windows or System folder.