For Widespread Distribution:
A Global Virus
Ten years ago today, a young Filipino computer student made history by unleashing the world’s first global Internet-borne virus. Known as the Love Bug, the virus spread from East to West in a single day, inflicting $5.5 billion in damages, corrupting files, and shutting down computer systems at major corporations, newsrooms, Wall Street firms and government offices across the world, including the Pentagon and the CIA.
The worm arrived in people’s email boxes with a provocative subject line, “I LOVE YOU: A love letter for you.” When recipients opened the attachment,“LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs,” they unwittingly infected their own computer with the self-replicating worm as well as the computers of everyone in their contact list.
The author of the virus is believed to be Onel de Guzman, then 25, a student at AMA Computer University in Makati, the financial and commercial capital of the Philippines and, historically speaking, one of the cradles of the revolt against Spanish colonial rule.
A Lost Era
It is hard to imagine now in the era of penis-enhancing pills, your loan application is waiting and desirable watches for less, that people once opened anonymous email attachments.
There is something poignant in the idea of Hong Kong businessmen arriving in their offices and clicking open an email titled ILOVEYOU with an open and curious heart. That era has since passed, along the era of leaving your car unlocked and phone calls for a dime.
In this regard, de Guzman, the first global Internet hacker, broke our cyber cherry. He was the snake that led us out of Cyber Eden.
Today the Internet hacker has become a mainstay of
Internet Robin Hood
What many people did not realize at the time was that de Guzman’s original intention for creating the worm was altruistic at its roots. In the Phillippines, an hour’s worth of Internet access cost as much as half a day’s wage: 100 pesos, the equivalent of two dollars.
For his graduation thesis in computer science, de Guzman, the son of a fisherman, wrote a program that would enable the average Filipino to get free Internet access by stealing passwords from the rich. His school rejected his thesis because of its bandit nature, so he could not graduate. Undeterred, de Guzman, with the help of friends, unleashed his virus the day before the university held its graduation ceremony.
Excerpt from Onel de Guzman's rejected thesis proposal at
NAME OF THE STUDENT: Onel A. De Guzman
PROPOSED THESIS TITLE: Email Password Sender Trojan
POSSIBLE AREA OF INVESTIGATION: Software Product
Trojan horse is a legitimate program that has been altered by the placement of unauthorized instructions within it. These instructions perform functions unknown to (and probably unwanted by) the user. They are not virus and do not replicate like virus. They are complete application, are not attached themselves. This is the main idea and function of the Trojan horse program.
Email Password Sender Trojan is a small Trojan horse, that will send on to your email somebody's Internet access passwords such as (CACHE, RAS - (Remote Access Service), WEB, and Screen Saver) passwords. All passwords that will save by the infected user will send it, to the configurable email in the server side.
REASON FOR STUDY:
The researcher decided to develop this program because the researcher believes that it will be helpful to a lot of people specially Internet users to get Windows passwords such as Internet Accounts to spend more time on Internet without paying.
IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY:
The importance of the study is to help other people most especially Windows users. We all know that when we connect to the Internet we spend more time for surfing and reading email only, so when we are spending time we spend lots of money to pay the accounts for only using a couple of hours. So this program is the main solution, use it to steal and retrieve Internet accounts of the victim's computer.
Known to his admirers as “The Terminator,” de Guzman never confessed to triggering the virus, but has acknowledged he was involved in "cooking" it. He blamed hackers who broke into his computer.
The last we heard publicly from de Guzman, some months after the virus struck, he was in self-imposed exile in his mother's house. He had cut his hair and put on weight from eating home-cooking and spending hours on the couch with a Sony Playstation. He told a reporter that if he couldn’t find work with a software company, he would look into opening a cybercafe.
He was never persecuted for unleashing the virus because, at the time, the Philippines had no laws against cyber crime. It does now.
Outside of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos and maybe Corazon Aquino, de Guzman is arguably the most famous Filipino that Americans know, though few know him by name.
“There are so many computer geniuses out there,” de Guzman has said. “But I think I have become part of the history of the