One of the most destructive and well-known virus, bearing the sweetest alias there is. The I Love You virus, sometimes called Love Letter or Love Bug, was created in May 5, 2000 by a Filipino Hacker that we’ll hide in the alias “Onel de Guzman”.
The virus came in the form of a worm — it was a standalone program capable of replicating itself. It traveled the Internet and is spread by the use of Email with “I LOVE YOU” as the subject line, to pretend as a love letter from a secret admirer, quite sneaky and clever, don’t you think?
It contains an attachment named “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.txt.vbs” that, when opened, results in the message being re-sent to everyone in the recipient’s Microsoft Outlook address book, However, the danger does not end with the virus being able to spread it self throughout everyone in Microsoft Outlook (the single most used email handler in corporate networks), but because it replaces every JPEG, MP3, and other file types on the recipient’s hard drive, causing data loss, and heavy damage to companies that make heavy use of multimedia files. In addition, the virus could result in some security breaches weeks or months from now because it can steal network passwords from a computer and send them to a remote location.
To protect themselves, The Pentagon, CIA, the British Parliament and most large corporations decided to completely shut down their mail systems. The outbreak was later estimated to have cause US $5.5–8.7 billion in damages worldwide and estimated to cost the US $15 billion to remove the worm. Damage cited was mostly the time and effort spent getting rid of the infection and recovering files from backups. The virus affected over 45 million computers and was one of the world’s most dangerous computer-related disasters.