The “Love Bug” Virus
By: Talese Maddox
Professor: Constance Blandon
Course Title: Business 100
January 20, 2014
Suspicion fell quickly on a possible culprit in the Philippines, in part because the virus eight pages of computer code contained a tantalizing word: Barok. A search of virus registries quickly revealed that it was the name of a so-called Trojan horse, a stealthy software program that filches passwords, written by a Filipino hacker last year. Still, the transparency of this clue suggested that the word might have been inserted as a deliberate smoke screen to fool the computer sleuths. By week's end, the work of investigators was further complicated by the appearance of a number of copycat viruses, created either by others or by the Love Bug's author.
Worse was yet to come. On the other side of the world, in the offices of the German newspaper in Hamburg, system administrators watched in horror as the virus gobbled up to 2,000 digital photographs in their picture archive. In Belgium ATMs were disabled, leaving citizens cashless. In Paris cosmetics maker L’Oreal shut down its e-mail servers, as did businesses throughout the Continent. As much as 70% of the computers in Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden were laid low. The companies affected made up a Who's Who of industry and finance, including Ford, Siemens, Silicon Graphics and Fidelity Investments. Even Microsoft, whose software was the Love Bug's special target, got so badly battered that it finally severed outside e-mail links at its Redmond, Wash., headquarters.
The Parliament shut down its servers before the Love Bug's assault. This affectionate greeting, intoned Commons leader Margaret Beckett, contains a virus which has immobilized the House's internal communication system. The virus was originally distributed in an email with the subject line "I love you". The message contains the text "kindly check the attached LOVELETTER from me" and an attached file called...