The only thing scarier than a malicious program that can destroy your system or steal all your data is a virus that also displays terrifying visuals.
The only thing scarier than a malicious program that can destroy your system or steal all your data is a virus that also displays terrifying visuals. For Halloween, we’ve compiled a list of eight of the most terrible malicious programs in the world. Most of them are old creations – from the times of DOS. Back then, pests were not created for financial reasons, but so that their authors could show off their programming skills. These viruses were sometimes non-threatening, but when they triggered, the user shivered with fear.
Cascade : Could there be anything scarier than seeing a system literally crumble? In this way, the Cascade virus demonstrated its activity in the late 1980s and early 1990s . After installation, the malware caused letters displayed on the DOS screen to fall to the bottom of the screen, making work impossible. The malware seems to have inspired the creators of an episode of Star Trek: Voyager – a virus of the same name appeared there .
MadMan : This DOS virus was not very destructive, but it did display a disturbing image of a red face and the words „Nothing can save you my friend – you are in my world now”. When a user tried to remove the malware, it displayed „I’m following you”. Ultimately, however, the virus was not harmful.
AIDS : It was a malicious program whose author showed an exceptional lack of good taste. Running a file infected with this DOS virus in the early 1990s led – once in a while – to display a huge message stating that the computer had AIDS and there was no cure for it. After this message appeared, the computer had to be restarted. Additionally, to restore the correct operation of infected files, it was necessary to replace them with healthy copies.
Skulls (Skuller) : It was a Trojan targeting Symbian in 2004 – the most popular mobile operating system at the time. Skull disguised itself as an app to change the look of the phone interface and, upon launch, would replace all the icons on the screen with an image of a skull with crossed bones. Additionally, infected applications could not be launched.
Tequila : This malware infected DOS executables (.exe). After activating on the system, when a user tried to run an infected file, the virus – once in a while – displayed a full-screen fractal with the text: „… T.TEQUILA’s latest production. Contact T.TEQUILA / PoBox 543/6312 St’hausen Switzerland. Loving thought to LINDA BEER and TEQUILA forever! ”.
Kuku : Another DOS virus with a frightening effect that will scare anyone who cares about the security of their system. Kuku displayed multi-colored elements that slowly filled the entire screen with the blinking words 'Kuku!'.
Rigel : Virus for Windows that launched on December 22nd displayed all system icons in random places until the entire screen was full. The worm didn’t have any dangerous functions, but you have to admit that watching your desktop keep filling with icons every now and then must have been scary the first time, and then extremely annoying.
Gruel : One of the first fake antivirus programs targeting Windows. The malware pretended to be a security patch, but in reality it had nothing to do with security. Once activated, Gruel displays fake error messages, opens various Windows folders and ejects the CD-ROM tray. The following text then appears on the screen:
„Your computer now is mine, Why? Because I didn’t had nothing to do and I thought, why not make the evil? Remember NOW YOUR PC IS IN MY POWER Windows Sucks! I can’t stand it anymore! „
The author signed the pseudonym 'KILLERGUATE'. Unlike the previous relatively harmless DOS vermin, Gruel was extremely mean. It removed the „Run” option from the Start menu, and disinfecting the infected computer was very difficult.