Feeds

Users haven't learned any lessons from the Love Bug

A third of them will still open ILOVEYOU message

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Computer users haven't learned any lessons from the spread of the Love Bug virus last year.

According to research published by IDC this week, more than a third (37 per cent) of business email users would still open the attachment of an email titled 'ILOVEYOU' - the same message used in emails infected with the Love Bug.

Arriving as an innocuous email from a recognised sender, the Love Bug spread like wildfire last May causing an estimated $10 billion damage, largely in lost productivity, as it brought down email servers worldwide.

Alex Shipp, senior anti-virus technologist at MessageLabs, which scans customers email for malicious code, said it still intercepted 20 copies of the Love Bug virus a day, indicating that many have not updated their anti-virus protection

The IDC survey, which questioned 150 people in job titles from secretary to managing director, found of those respondents who were personally responsible for updating anti-virus software nearly half of them left it longer than a month to do so.

Shipp added that fewer still have applied the Outlook patch Microsoft had issued to prevent other malicious code using the same tricks used by the Love Bug authors.

Mark Sunner, chief technology officer at MessageLabs, said of the survey findings: "On a day such as St Valentines' Day email users are vulnerable to unusual email, which creates an opportunity for virus writers.

"As Human beings we are naturally inquisitive and that makes us susceptible to a whole host of socially engineered viruses."

The report found that on any day of the year users would open an email appearing to be from someone they know if the following appeared in the subject line: Great Joke (54 per cent), Look at this (50 per cent), Message (46 per cent), No title (40 per cent) or special offer (39 per cent). ®

Related stories

Love Bug author says bug created in cyber gang war
MS Love Bug patch catches flak
The Register guide to beating the Love Bug. Not
Love Bug mutates faster than Pokemon

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.