What’s the Nastiest Malware You’ve Ever Seen?

Once a year we attend the RSA Conference in San Francisco, which we affectionately call the “Scare the Crap Out of You” Festival.

Most attendees at the conference have seen some really bad malware first-hand. I’m always a fan of “worst” stories, so I asked the attendees at the event, “What’s the worst malware you’ve ever seen?”

Watch and be scared. Be very scared.

Just a selection of the responses:

  • “The nastiest malware I’ve ever seen is the malware I never saw coming. I still don’t know what hit me.”
  • “The one that lived on my network for two years and I didn’t know about it.”
  • “My Admin opened the dreaded ‘FedEx.Zip’…. and let it run on the network.”
  • “What was the damage to the company? Two days of downtime. Three offices.”
  • “People clicked the link, and it went from person to person to person. Shut our entire email down. It was nasty. Everyone clicked that damn email. Everybody.”
  • “It was one of those pieces of malware that you’d completely reimage the machine, change out everything, and it would still be a problem, and you wouldn’t be able to figure out why. That’s the worst one I ever dealt with.”
  • “The nastiest email I ever had to practically deal with, was a virus that actually infected the BIOS on a disk drive, which made you ship it back to the manufacturer, (where they) plugged it into a diagnostic bus, and it infected all the drives on the diagnostic bus back at the drive manufacturer’s factory.”

About the Author

David Spark is a veteran tech journalist and founder of Spark Media Solutions. Since 1996, Spark and his articles have appeared in more than 40 media outlets including eWEEK, Wired News, PCWorld, ABC Radio, John C. Dvorak’s “Cranky Geeks,” KQED’s “This Week in Northern California,” and TechTV (formerly ZDTV). Spark is also the author of the book, “Three Feet from Seven Figures: One-on-One Engagement Techniques to Qualify More Leads at Trade Shows.” Today, Spark blogs regularly on the Spark Minute and is a regular contributor for Forbes. Spark is a noted speaker, entertainer, and moderator at tech and marketing events.