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"ILOVEYOU" Virus Hits Thousands of Computers

A Computer Virus That Fed Our Egos But Destroyed Our Files

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Picture of a computer from the year 2000.
(Photo by Photodisc / Getty Images)
Though the 1999 "Melissa" virus warned us not to open attachments, we were still unprepared for the "ILOVEYOU" virus that hit on May 4, 2000.

It came from our friends, families, and co-workers. It fed our ego; we all like to be loved.

Just one click of the button and the virus, really a worm, downloaded itself into your computer, wiped out all of your MP3s (music clips) and your JPGs (photographs) and then instantaneously emailed a copy of itself to everyone in your address book, spreading itself faster than any other virus to that date.

The virus was especially damaging to networks since it just took one person to click on the attachment in their email to send the virus through an entire business in seconds. In just a few days, damage from the virus was estimated to be over $15 billion (U.S.).

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