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ILOVEYOU virus 20 years later: where is Onel De Guzman now?

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Remember the time in the year 2000 when the cyber world was shaken by a spreading computer worm named as the “Love Bug”, also know as the “Love Letter” and “ILOVEYOU” virus?

If you do not, then here is the gist of it—a computer virus was spread and whose suspect was identified as a Pinoy. And to his credit, this earned him both the reputation and infamy of the tech world.

Love-bug-love-letter-virus

It only make us, therefore, wondering—whatever happened to that guy?

It’s been 20 years since the incident took place. Now 44 years of age, Onel de Guzman, the man behind the worm-turned-virus has faded from people’s attention.

There had been some hearsays which claim that the famed hacker was either recruited by Microsoft or had emigrated to Austria, Germany, or the United States.

But the rumor had easily dissolved when his identity was traced at a certain cramped space in Manila where he works as a repairman of broken phones.

Onel-De-Guzman
Photo credit: BBC

In an interview conducted by BBC with De Guzman, it revealed facts about the incident which boils down to primarily admitting having created the virus. 

The purpose, according to him, was to essentially steal credentials to access the internet for free—at the time, an essential part of using a dial-up internet.  

And, oh, if someone claims that Michael Buen co-authored the worm with De Guzman, then-fellow classmate at AMA Computer College, the latter explicitly denied the saying. 

As it seems, Onel de Guzman solely authored the worm that which he eventually modified to also become a virus that proliferated the internet via an exploit to Microsoft’s Outlook software.

The ILOVEYOU virus affected over 45 million computers during its time. Estimated damages around the world are believed to be over $10 billion.

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