Ase Study 5 The a?I Love Youa Virus

Case Study 5 The a?I Love Youa Virus

The I love you virus struck more than 45 million computers worldwide in May 2000. It was one of the most widespread and damaging viruses ever. This case study will show the devastating impacts of this virus.

What exactly did this virus do?

The virus typically arrives as an attachment in an email with the subject I love you”. The email, in essence, contained a message similar to this (the actual message varied):

a? Kindly check the attached LOVELETTER from me. a?

When the user opens the attached file (LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.VBS), the virus infects the victimas computer and immediately replicates and emails itself to all addresses found within a victims email address book.

The I Love You Virus did the following to an infected computer:

The virus deleted or altered graphic files and music files and rendered them useless.
Redirect the victimas Internet browser to a malicious website, where another malicious program called a?WIN-BUGSFIX.EXEa? is downloaded on to the victimas computer. This is a Trojan horse, which combed the victimas computer to find passwords and sent them to an Internet account in Philippines.

Damage caused

Calculating damages caused by viruses is a sticky business, as it is impossible to track the exact number of people who are affected by a particular virus. Therefore, at best, only rough estimates can be made about the extent of damage of the I Love You virus.

As such, it is believed that the I Love You virus caused around US$ 10 billion worth of damages. It is estimated that the virus affected about 45 million computers world wide.

Lesson to learn

Perhaps, one of the main reasons why the I Love You virus caused such an unprecedented damage was because of its email subject. When victims saw the word a?I love youa?, curiosity got the better of them and they paid the price for carelessly downloading the attachment.

One important thing that email users should never do is to download attachments from strangers. And even, if you receive an email from your friend, do not open it if you suspect that something is wrong about the email. Safety is better than cure, and with some cautiousness, one can avoid the hassles cause by a virus attack.

1. Research the creator of the a?I Love Youa virus. Did this individual act alone?

2. What were the motivations for releasing the a?I Love Youa virus on the world?

3. How did the a?I Love Youa virus deteriorate peopleas faith in the internet and make them skeptical of email?

4. Do you believe the a?I Love Youa virus creatoras punishment fit his crime?

Answer the questions with whatever sources are available.