Love Bug’s creator tracked down 20 years later

Onel de Guzman, from Philippines and now 44 years, says he released the Love Bug computer worm to steal passwords and access to internet without paying.

Love Bug as an email message with subject line “LOVEYOU” and the attachment “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU” (by F-Secure, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license )

The Love Bug pandemic began on 4 May of 2000, starting with victims receiving an email attachment entitled LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU. The attachement included malicious code that overwrited files, stole passwords, and automatically forwarded copies of itself to all contacts of the Microsoft Outlook address book.

Within 24 hours it was spreading across the globe arriving to infect 45 million machines. At the time some IT managers were forced to disconnect parts of system infrastructure to prevent infection, due to its outbreak over organisations’ email systems.

The Love Bug spreading was estimated to be responsible of a damages of billions of pounds. Investigators traced the virus to an email address registered to an apartment in Manila, capital of the Philippines.

The brother of the tenant was a computer science student at the city’s AMA Computer College, Onel de Guzman. At the time he was part of Grammersoft, an underground hacking group. This element made him becoming the lead suspect in the police investigation.

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