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The “Love Bug” Virus

The virus dubbed the “love bug” started to rapidly spread throughout the world on May 4, 2000. According to David Ruppe (May 5,2000) in an article on the abcnews. com website, The virus came in the form of “iloveyou” in the subject line, which seemed harmless and greets people in a friendly way. They have no idea that they are in for a big surprise as they opened their email. The message inside reads: “kindly check the attached loveletter coming from me” (Ruppe, May 5,2000).

A 22-year-old college dropout was arrested in the Philippines as the author of this virus (anonymous, August 21,2000). When the attachment contained in the email was opened, the virus rapidly proliferated by automatically sending copies to everyone listed in the user’s email address book. Experts have concluded that this was the cause of the rapid slow down of servers around the world. Some of the servers have been so severely overloaded that they have shut down. This in turn has been preventing other email from being se3nt (anonymous September 5, 2000).

As Hillebrand reports, “The Head of corp0orate communications at the computer Security Company Sophos Anit- Virus, Graham Cluely says that companies have been bombarded by this virus and have begun to switch off email systems”. Cluely also concluded that one of the reasons that the virus is so popular because it makes a tug on your emotions, love can get you into trouble (Hillebrand May 15,2000). In this certain case there are several categories of Cybercrime that this type of crime represents.

As written by Casey, the first one being that the computer was a target. This virus was supposed to gather information once it was opened and send back information to its owner. This included searching for login names and passwords. This would enable the owner to use any of the victim’s Internet accounts to surf the net for free. (Ruppe May5, 2000). The second cybercrime category is the computer as the instrumentality of the crime. Since the computer was the main focus of the crime and was used to implement it.

The third and final cybercrime category is that the crime is associated with the prevalence of computers. This one is because it allowed the theft of the components of the login names as well as the passwords. This could be classified as having multiple cybercrime categories (Casey p17). The crime scene for this specific case is the apartment and the computer where the virus originated. This was the originating site and where the virus was supposed to send back the passwords and login names.

There were many different email addresses that were in use from that same computer (Casey 167). National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) of the Philippines will be prosecuting de Guzman with charges for credit fraud under the Access Devices Regulation Act- 1998 this could actually let the author off relatively easy (anonymous August 21,2000). The NBI crime squad has next to no experience with such computer investigations as well as no equipment to analyze computer programs. (Hillebrand may 15,2000).

The Unites States tried to get permission to expedite Onel de Guzman to try him for this crime here. But this has never happened, so the Philippines has jurisdiction In the Philippines there is a lack of computer criminal laws and therefore the over this matter (Anonymous Sept 5, 2000). As Ruppe reports, virus rapidly spread to private, commercial, and government computers across Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.

Some of the computers that have been affected are the Pentagon, the C. I. A. Asian Wall Street Journal, British Telecom, ATT, Cable and Wireless in London, and the British Parliament, and also some Individual members of congress. Here in Oregon the virus forced the city of Eugene to cut the link between its computers and the Internet. The harms that this crime has inflicted are only to those that had computers with Internet emails. That was the way that the virus spread as it was opened. It has caused an estimate of damages totaling $8 billion (USA$) (Ruppe May5, 2000).

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