The worm did damage on the local machine overwriting image files, and sent a copy of itself to the first 50 contacts in email. The virus, unlea shed May 4, rapidly eplicated itself via email, overloading corporate email systems in many count ries and causing damage estimated at up to $10 billion. Computer forensic experts dissected the worm and discovered the codeword ‘Barok’ among its architecture.
A professor at the AMA Computer College in the Philip pines recognized the codeword, having seen it in a program submitted as an assignment by studen t Onel de Guzman. Police searched Guzman’s apartment and discovered discs relating to the Lov e Bug’s creation, implicating Guzman as the perpetrator. Until President Joseph Estrada signed a new law in June covering el ctronic commerce and computer hacking the Philippines had no laws specifically aga inst computer crimes.
The new legislation, however, cannot be applied retroactively to the “L ove Bug” creator, and investigators instead charged de Guzman with traditional crimes such as theft and violation of a law that normally covers credit card fraud. The National Bureau of Investiga tion had waited more than a month to file the charges against de Guzman while It attempted to find applicable laws Prosecutors dismissed all charges filed against a former computer c ollege student ccused of having released the “ILOVEYOU” computer virus that crippled emai I systems worldwide.
The Department of Justice said the charges filed by investigators e ither did not apply to computer hacking, or there was insufficient evidence to back them up. Onel de Guzman, a former student at the Philippines’ AMA Compute r College, has acknowledged that he may have released the virus by accident, but refused to say whether he authored it. Unfortunately laws against computer hacking were not brought into power u ntil June that year, slightly too late, allowing Guzman to go unpunished for his crime.