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Iloveyou Virus- A Threatening Menace
When it comes to malware, viruses are the ancestors on the block. While most people can rattle off names like ‘Trojan’, ‘viruses’, and ‘spyware’ etc, they’re often not too familiar with their causes and remedies.
Computers & mobile devices though not biotic like you & me, can get sick from virus proliferation. A computer virus, much like a flu virus, is designed to replicate itself & wreck havoc. A flu virus cannot reproduce without a host cell. In the same way a computer viruses cannot reproduce & spread without programming script embedded in a file or a document.
Instead of sniffles and a fever, some common symptoms of a computer viral infection are slow performance, data loss and system crashes. All of these can make people using the machine feel ill as well.
What is ILOVEYOU virus?
While ILOVEYOU sounds like a cheerful bon mot often found printed on the inside of a Valentine’s Day card, it is far more baleful than that. ILOVEYOU is one of the most renowned destructive viruses of all time.
It has been almost 18 years since ILOVEYOU was let loose on the internet. Though today it’s a pretty tame virus, during the period of its birth in 2000 it was the most menacing malware of all time. Likely, ILOVEYOU inspired hackers to wield emails as a weapon to disseminate malicious computer programs.
If you receive an email today like the one that was sent in 2000, we recommend you to never open it. The ILOVEYOU virus sometimes referred to as Love Bug or Love Letter came in an email with a subject line that said I love you.
The malware was triggered by clicking on the email attachment that read as LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs’. The latter file extension vbs, acronym for Visual Basic Script was most often hidden by default on Windows computers of the time, causing unwitting users to believe it was a normal text file.
Curious users even after being aware of the fact that the email wasn’t from a known person often clicked on the attachment with aplomb.
ILOVEYOU virus- Threat Behavior
Opening the attachment activated the Visual Basic Script. The malicious program overwrote system files & personal files that include:
However, after overwriting MP3 files, the virus would hide the file. Users who didn’t have the backup copies of the infected files lost them.
In order to rapidly proliferate to infect maximum systems, the malevolent ILOVEYOU virus was scripted to distribute its copy by sending emails to all the addresses in the Windows Address Book used by Microsoft Outlook.
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