On this day 10 years ago, the LoveBug virus, a mass-mailing worm infected 45 million computer users when the virus multiplied overnight from 1 in every 1000 emails to 1 in 28.
The only essence of the virus left is this pictorial image which Symantec Hosted Services has captured using LoveBug’s actual virus code. Compared to many of the other images in the cyber threat collection, LoveBug is characterised by rounded shapes and less complex lines, reminiscent of the simplicity of viruses ten years ago. Likewise, the threat landscape has changed dramatically in ten years.
During LoveBug’s time, threats were created by individual hackers and distributed by email, IRC and chat rooms, but today they are the workings of organised criminal enterprises and distributed via email, web and IM often in a converged way.
In 2000, the most dangerous threats were mass mailer worms with executable attachments, like LoveBug. However in 2010, the most dangerous attacks are targeted attacks that demonstrate sophisticated social engineering.
In April 9, 2010, only 1 in 287.2 emails contained a virus, with 36,208 unique strains of malware detected in the same month.