Today is the tenth anniversary of the LoveBug worm, which was arguably the
first malware infection that used social engineering techniques to propagate
itself. Though simple in its approach, LoveBug was quite virulent in its attack
methodology and, as reports of the time noted, hit several million users of the
internet in its first 24 hours.
According to anti-virus reports of the time, the `virus rate’ – which was
normally averaging around 1.1 per 1000 emails – soared to an amazing 1 in 28
before tier 1 ISPs starting filtering the infected messages out on their own
The subject line of `ILOVEYOU’ attracted the attention of the recipients, but
the real problems for users began when they opened the message, as it
immediately replicated itself to all of the email addresses in the infected
users’ address book.