Five Terrifying (But Thankfully Fictional) Computer Viruses

This morning I saw a news report that suggested keeping confidential information on a detachable drive such as a flash drive in order to avoid having the data stolen. I immediately thought of a way that could be circumvented, and at the risk of sounding like Buzzfeed, I thought up four more viruses that, as far as I know, are only the product of my own imagination. This was just a sort of thought-exercise, nothing really intentional or a goal, but something to think about.

1. Johnny Cache: Captures specific PDF files based on a likely size range from the infected computer and any external drives attached, then shares them in a “cloud” service to allow people to mine them for personal information.

2. The Beat-Alls: Deliberately issues hundreds of thousands of read/write cycles on all storage devices attached to the infected computer, counting on wearing the devices down faster, destroying data.

3. Gabba Gabba Hey: Snoops traffic on all networks the infected computer is connected to, and stores packets for later “echoing” back into the network. The idea is to flood a network with a denial of service attack using data that is indistinguishable from “real” traffic.

4. The Vapors: Installs various input method editors into the infected computer and randomly switches among them at set intervals, turning all typed information into total gibberish; worse, attempts to disable the IME trigger the infected computer to randomize the encoding of all text displayed as well as input.

5. London Calling: Disables, then takes direct control of, temperature controls on the infected computer, with the intention of destroying the hardware through overheating and/or overuse of the cooling mechanisms, ultimately creating a fire hazard.