The most significant virus event in the first six months of 2000
was undoubtedly VBS/LoveLet
as The Love Bug).
The Love Bug became the fastest spreading virus of all time
because of the psychological temptation it presented to innocent
computer users. Disguised as a love letter from a friend or
colleague many people opened the file simply out of curiousity, not
realising the harm it would cause.
Other events in the first six months of 2000 included:
- Legitimate concern about the Love Bug was subsequently
exploited by anti-virus companies that hyped a series of viruses,
which posed little threat to computer users.
- A number of anti-virus companies, for example, drew attention
to specific viruses that are set to trigger on particular dates,
such as Smash on
14th July, rather than highlighting that viruses pose a problem
every day of the year.
- Some anti-virus companies continued this trend by releasing
warnings about viruses that may infect WAP devices, mobile phones
and refrigerators. Sophos advises that no such viruses currently
exist and at present these devices lack the sophistication to be
- David L. Smith, author of Melissa, has still not
been sentenced for causing over $80 million of damage to North
American businesses. Melissa first appeared in March 1999, yet
continues to feature in the latest Top
- A poll recently revealed that the majority of Filipino citizens
were proud that the Love Bug originated in the Philippines. This
comes at a time when virus writing is in danger of being glamorised
by the media in general.
Sophos continues to recommend that companies keep their
anti-virus software up-to-date and employ "safe computing" policies
such as not opening unsolicited documents and executables. The rule
of 'ignore email from strangers' is not enough. Viruses are often
spread unintentionally via your friends and colleagues.
January - June 2000 top ten viruses