How lovely is it to receive such an email? Sitting at your desk, stressed out, pending tasks with close deadlines, and then you receive a love letter from a secret admirer… how sweet is that? So excited to read the love letter! you download the attachment, open it, and the fun part starts here!!
Usually when you read a love letter, you start blushing and giggle. Even better if it was from a secret admirer… Well this love letter in the attachment will definitely change your color as soon as you open it, not because of the romantic content, but because you just got hacked.
What is the iLoveYou Virus?
iLoveYou virus is the fastest spreading computer worm. Obviously it is sent by mail as an attachment and disguised as a love letter from a secret admirer.
What does it do?
The iLoveyou worm mainly damages all types of files including (but not limited to) Microsoft Office files, images, mp3 files, and after the damage takes place, the files become hidden. It is slightly different than the Ransomware that locks all your files without damaging them. Then it will download a file named “WIN-BUGSFIX.EXE” tricking you to run it since your PC is full of “Bugs”, but then after running the file you will also discover that it was a Trojan, and more damage is about to take place. After the damage taking place, the worm uses Outlook to send itself again to ALL the Address Book of the victim’s PC. This last feature made it the fastest spreading worm.
You think the damage is done? Not yet! The last but not least damage that will take place is having access to all your passwords and credit cards, making it one of the most dangerous viruses with the fastest spreading speed.
How Can a Text File do All That?
Since the attachment is named “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs”, most people noticed the “.TXT” without noticing the “.vbs”. We all know that the “.txt” extension refers to a text document. But those who noticed the “.vbs” part, will certainly feel suspicious. “.vbs” files are “Visual Basic Script” files, so this file is disguised as a text document, but in fact it is a script that will execute as soon as you open it.
How Can i Prevent Getting Infected?
Well first of all, make sure never to download any attachment from any unknown emails. In case the email was received from a known address, make sure the file type is convenient. e.g, in the iLoveYou case, a love letter from a secret admirer will not be sent as a “Visual Basic Script”. Therefore if you receive a love letter as a “.vbs” or “.exe” (etc…) file, then the sender definitely does not love you, AT ALL. Do not even think about opening it.
In addition to the above, always keep your Operating System up to date. There are always new security patches that need to be installed since the viruses are becoming more and more advanced.
Also don’t forget to keep your Anti Virus up to date, and the Firewall active on your PC.