Interview with the Author of the 2000 Love Bug Virus

No real surprises, but we finally have the story.

The story he went on to tell is strikingly straightforward. De Guzman was poor, and internet access was expensive. He felt that getting online was almost akin to a human right (a view that was ahead of its time). Getting access required a password, so his solution was to steal the passwords from those who’d paid for them. Not that de Guzman regarded this as stealing: He argued that the password holder would get no less access as a result of having their password unknowingly “shared.” (Of course, his logic conveniently ignored the fact that the internet access provider would have to serve two people for the price of one.)

De Guzman came up with a solution: a password-stealing program. In hindsight, perhaps his guilt should have been obvious, because this was almost exactly the scheme he’d mapped out in a thesis proposal that had been rejected by his college the previous year.

Posted on September 22, 2020 at 1:35 PM6 Comments


Wayne September 23, 2020 11:32 AM

I remember that one well. I was doing IT as a civilian for a major police department. I came in at 7am, fired up Slashdot, saw a post on it. Immediately went in to Bob our security guy, pulled it up on his computer, we went in to our server room, and unplugged our firewall from the external internet.

Our upstream provider was the city, and they got slammed hard. I think Bob called them and warned them, I don’t remember. We sent out an email warning people not to open that message, but we still had some who did. For whatever reason the payload didn’t spread throughout our network, I’m not sure why. Cleanup wasn’t bad.

Makes me very glad that I was a fervent Slashdot reader!

Curious September 23, 2020 11:50 AM

Btw, I vaguely recall having read somewhere, at some point, that Finland considered internet access to now be a human right.

Clay_T September 23, 2020 7:15 PM

I remember opening it in notepad, looking at the code, and thinking this is going to be nasty.

We were running NT4 at the time (no native vbs script support) and Netscape Communicator (no “Let me go ahead and open that for you” support) so it passed us right by.
Whacked two W95 laptops, no big loss there.

The Red Squid of Passion September 24, 2020 3:00 AM

But it’s the perfect illustration of a basic truth about much of the computer crime currently plaguing society today: It’s not about the tech, it’s about the people.

Still stuck with Homo Sap 1.0. Upgrades not an option. 🙂

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