The ILOVEYOU virus surfaced on the 4th of May 2000.
By the 13th of May some 50 million systems had been infected at a cost estimated to be in the region of $5.5 billion.
During a period of just 5 hours the virus spread across Asia, Europe and the United States via email messages that came with the title, “ILOVEYOU.”
ILOVEYOU spread so quickly that corporate IT managers ended up shutting down their email systems and entire Web servers became clogged.
This virus was received via an email with the subject line, “I Love You”, which carried an attachment named, “Love-Letter-For-You.txt.vbs.”
As I’m sure you are all aware, opening attachments in emails you know nothing about is not a good idea.
A great many people, however, did just that and so they became infected.
When the ILOVEYOU virus managed to infiltrate a system it would scan the machine’s memory, looking for passwords.
These were then sent back to the virus creator’s website in the Philippines which was soon shut down after the outbreak occurred.
It would also corrupt any files it found that ended with .vbs, .vbe, .js, .css, .wsh, .sct, .hta, .jpg, .jpeg, .mp2, .mp3 by overwriting them with a copy of itself.
The ILOVEYOU virus would then replicate and send itself to anyone listed in the Outlook address book of the infected machine.
Read more : Malware That Changed The World