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Love Bug malware-inspired film gets big screen premiere

Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy writes virus ...

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A film inspired by the infamous Love Bug computer worm is due to premiere on Friday.

The Love Bug (AKA I love you or LoveLetter) clogged up inboxes and email servers worldwide as it spread rapidly in May 2000. The virus, which came packed in a malicious attachment with the subject line "I love you", overwrote multimedia on infected machines before forwarding copies of itself to everyone in a user's Windows Address Book.

A film themed on the malware, and titled Subject: I Love You is due to get its first screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival in California on Friday. The film stars ex-Superman Dean Cain and True Blood's Kristin Bauer, among others, in what is described as an "action-packed romantic drama is based on the destructive 'I Love You' computer virus".

The basic premise is that a boy loses the girl of his dreams before lighting on the idea of getting her back by writing a destructive computer virus. Back in the real world, the Love Bug was actually written to swipe online access passwords by a computer science student in the Philippines. Onel de Guzman, the chief suspect in the case, escaped prosecution because of the lack of applicable computer security laws in the country at the time.

Net security firm Sophos expresses the hope that the film doesn't do anything to glorify computer virus creation, a sentiment we're inclined to share.

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