A) Make up a plan of the text and compare it with your partner’s. Write a summary of the text on the basis of your plan (no more than 7-10 sentences)


1. Translate these keywords:

VBScript -Visual Basic Scripting Edition - an Active Scripting (technology used in Windows to implement component-based scripting support) language developed by Microsoft;

social engineering -practice of obtaining confidential information by manipulating users;

Barok Trojan -this trojan horse gathers information, such as user name, IP address, and passwords, and attempts to send the information to the creator of the virus;

malware - software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s informed consent

2. Discuss the following questions in pairs:

1. What attacks have you heard about?

2. Have you ever had a virus or worm in your mail?

3. Name a few of the most famous viruses.

3. Read the text:

The ILOVEYOU worm, also known as VBS/Loveletter and Love Bug worm, is a computer worm written in VBScript.


The worm, first discovered in Hong Kong, arrived in e-mail boxes on May 4, 2000, with the simple subject of “ILOVEYOU” and an attachment “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU. TXT.vbs”.

Two aspects of the worm made it effective:

· It relied on social engineering to entice users to open the e-mail and ensure its continued propagation.

· It employed a mechanism — VBScripts — that, while not entirely novel, had not been exploited to such a degree previously to direct attention to their potential, reducing the layers of protection that would have to be navigated for success.


Its massive spread moved westward as workers arrived at their offices and encountered messages generated by people from the East. Because the virus used mailing lists as its source of targets, the messages often appeared to come from an acquaintance and so might be considered “safe”, providing further incentive to open them. All it took was a few users at each site to access the VBS attachment to generate the thousands and thousands of e-mails that would cripple e-mail systems under their weight, not to mention overwrite thousands of files on workstations and accessible servers.


It began in the Philippines on May 4, 2000, and spread across the world in one day (travelling from Hong-Kong to Europe to the United States), infecting 10 percent of all computers connected to the Internet and causing about $5.5 billion in damage. Most of the “damage” was the labor of getting rid of the virus. The Pentagon, CIA, and the British Parliament had to shut down their e-mail systems to get rid of the worm, as did most large corporations.

This particular malware caused widespread outrage, making it the most damaging worm ever. The worm overwrote important files, as well as music, multimedia and more, with a copy of itself. It also sent the worm to everyone on a user’s contact list. This particular worm only affected computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. While any computer accessing e-mail could receive an “ILOVEYOU” e-mail, only Microsoft Windows systems would be infected.


The ILOVEYOU worm is believed to have been written by Michael Buen. The Barok trojan horse used by the worm is believed to have been written by Onel de Guzman, a Filipino student of AMA Computer University in Makati, Philippines.

An international manhunt for the perpetrator finally led to a young programming student. On May 11 (one week after the virus spread), he held a news conference and said that he did not mean to cause so much harm. He was unable to graduate because the university rejected his thesis on the basis of its illegality. Helped by a group of friends called the Grammersoft Group, he distributed his virus the day before the school held their graduation ceremony.


Narinnat Suksawat, a 25-year-old Thai software engineer, was the first person to write software that repaired the damage caused by the worm, releasing it to the public on May 5, 2000, 24 hours after the worm had spread. “Rational Killer”, the program he created, removed virus files and restored the previously removed system files so they again functioned normally. Two months later, Narinnat was offered a senior consult- ant job at Sun Microsystems and worked there for two years. He resigned to start his own business. Today, Narinnat owns a software company named Moscii Systems, a system management software company in Thailand.

Architecture of the worm

The worm is written using Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting (VBS), and requires that the end-user run the script in order to deliver its payload. It will add a set of registry keys to the Windows registry that will allow the malware to start up at every boot.

The worm will then search all drives which are connected to the infected computer and replace files with the extensions *.JPG, *.JPEG, *.VBS, *.VBE, *.JS, *.JSE, *.CSS, *.WSH, *.SCT, *.DOC *.HTA with copies of itself, while appending to the file name a .VBS. extension. The malware will also locate *.MP3 and *.MP2 files, and when found, makes the files hidden, copies itself with the same file name and appends a .VBS.

The worm propagates by sending out copies of itself to all entries in the Microsoft Outlook address book. It also has an additional component, in which it will download and execute an infected program called variously “WIN-BUGSFIX.EXE” or “Microsoftv25.exe”. This is a password-stealing program which will e-mail cached passwords.


1. Attachment: LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs
Subject Line: ILOVEYOU
Message Body: kindly check the attached LOVELETTER coming from me.

2. Attachment: Very Funny.vbs
Subject Line: fwd: Joke
Message Body: empty

3. Attachment: mothersday.vbs Subject Line: Mothers Day Order Confirmation
Message Body: We have proceeded to charge your credit card for the amount of $326.92 for the mothers day diamond special. We have attached a detailed invoice to this email. Please print out the attachment and keep it in a safe place. Thanks Again and Have a Happy Mothers Day! [email protected]

4. Attachment: virus_warning.jpg.vbs
Subject Line: Dangerous Virus Warning
Message Body: There is a dangerous virus circulating. Please click attached picture to view it and learn to avoid it.

5. Attachment: protect.vbs
Subject Line: Virus ALERT!!!
Message Body: a long message regarding VBS.LoveLetter.A

Legislative aftermath

As there were no laws against virus-writing at the time, on August 21, 2000, the prosecutors dropped all charges against Onel A. de Guzman in a resolution signed by Jovencito Zuno. The original charges brought against de Guzman dealt with the illegal use of passwords for credit card and bank transactions. The Philippines E-Commerce Law (Republic Act No. 8792), passed on June 14, 2000, laid out penalties for cybercrime. Under the law, those who spread computer viruses or otherwise engage in cybercrime (including copyright infringement and software cracking) can be fined a minimum of 100,000 pesos (about USD$2,000), and a maximum commensurate with the damage caused, and imprisoned for six months to three years.

4. Answer the questions to the text:

1. What kind of attachment was in the ILOVEYOU worm?

2. In what language was the ILOVEYOU worm written?

3. When was the ILOVEYOU worm detected?

4. Who created the Barok trojan?

5. What action did the Pentagon take in order to protect itself from the ‘I Love You’ virus? Why was this virus so dangerous and harmful?

6. Why did it attack only Windows Operating Systems?

7. What legal consequences should be faced by the authors of computer viruses?

8.What action can each computer user take to protect their computers against computer worms?

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