Today marks the 20th anniversary of the most notorious computer virus in the history of the world. FBI finally catches Onel De Guzman, the mastermind behind the creation of this cyber malware. In the report available online yo will see in the entire interrogation that brought him down. The virus normally affected Windows OS back then by using malicious attachments through emails. It took only 10 days to infect around 50 million people around the world.
But the worst part of it was the effect on the global economy. The eventual cost of repairing all infected systems and backing up data to restore them is somewhere around $30 billion to date. Powerful associations like the CIA, Pentagon, and the U.K. Parliament shut down all their E-mail systems for a year as an immediate response. At the time, the ‘ILOVEYOU‘ virus made headlines in all newspapers around the world. For the digital world, it had the same effect as that of Coronavirus in the biological world.
The "ILOVEYOU" bug attacked personal computers running #Windows, and the cost of system downtime was alter estimated at $8.7 billion! Check out more here: https://t.co/dPhJgcqasq pic.twitter.com/Amu5dB9Tha
— Spiceworks (@Spiceworks) May 4, 2019
Computer virus pandemic: ‘ILOVEYOU’ virus
The Love Bug is not a basic computer virus. To be more specific it is a worm. The main difference between them is the way it spreads on an infection. Viruses need activation of the ‘host file’ for the infection to start and continue. A duplicate of the host file is required whenever a subsequent machine needs to be infected. But a worm, on the other hand, is a self-replicating virus. This makes it easier to spread because it can propagate itself into any paths of the shared network.
The infection normally took place using emails have a subject line ‘ILOVEYOU‘ and an attached document with it. This document was presumably a love letter, except for the fact that it was not. Opening that love letter made the computer run the series of command present in the batch file. Apparently it was a Visual Basic script file. The virus messes with all of the internal workings of the computer system and deletes important files and folders.
The author of the ILOVEYOU worm, Onel de Guzman, was never prosecuted as the Philippines didn’t have any laws against computer hacking at the time. But the FBI recently tracked De Guzman down to a mobile phone repair shop in Manila, where he told them that he regretted writing the virus as well as the infamy it brought upon him.
However, the virus has not been seen in recent history. Let us know what you think about it in the comments section below!
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.