Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Billion-Dollar Love Bug Worm Celebrates 6th Anniversary

Six years ago Thursday the infamous "Love Bug" worm debuted to the dismay of the world's computer users, who fell for one of the first socially-engineered pieces of malware.

Also known as "ILOVEYOU," the worm duped millions in May 2000 into opening the e-mailed attachment by promising it was a message from a secret admirer. "kindly check the attached LOVELETTER coming from me," the e-mail's text read.

Once the worm infected the recipient's PC, it spawned clones and spread to other PCs by hijacking local e-mail addresses, a new tactic at the time. Love Bug also changed Internet Explorer's home page, destroyed image and digital music files, and snatched passwords.

The worm caused an estimated $7 to $10 billion in damage worldwide.

Filipino student Onel de Guzman, then 23, was arrested for writing the worm but was never prosecuted because the Philippines lacked anti-computer attack laws at the time.

  • 1