The Love Bug virus arrived in e-mail boxes on May 4, 2000, with the simple subject of "ILOVEYOU" and an attachment "LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs". Upon opening the attachment, the virus sent a copy of itself to everyone in the user's e-mail address list, posing as the user. It also made a number of malicious changes to the user's system.
Two aspects of the virus made it effective:
- It relied on social engineering to entice users to open the attachment and ensure its continued propagation.
- It exploited the weakness of the email system design that an attached program could be run easily by simply opening the attachment; the underlying mechanism — VBScript — had not been exploited to such a degree previously to direct attention to its potential, thus the necessary layers of protection were not in place yet.
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