10 years ago today: The Love Bug computer worm

Graham Cluley

The Love Bug, also known as the ILOVEYOU worm, LoveLetter or VBS/LoveLet, spread itself ten years ago today via email using the subject line “ILOVEYOU” and the message body “Kindly check the attached LOVELETTER coming from me”.

It was an inspired piece of social engineering and flooded email systems around the world, as users were either tricked into believing they were receiving a romantic note, or believed it was something funny coming from their bosses or colleagues.

Even if English wasn’t your native language you would probably open the email. After all, “I Love You” are probably amongst the most recognised words in the English language.

Unfortunately for all those computer users, opening the attached file, called LOVELETTER.TXT.VBS, didn’t display an unsolicited love letter but instead activated a malicious worm, spreading it to their other email contacts.

I wrote at length last year, on the ninth anniversary of the Love Bug, about my memories of that day in May 2000, and how…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, on Mastodon at @[email protected], or drop him an email.