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Love Bug Bites DoD, Others

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2000 – We dont love the Love Bug virus, Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said May 4 during a press conference.

The computer virus infected unclassified DoD computers worldwide, Bacon said. The virus never entered classified computers, however, nor did it significantly affect DoD missions.

We are urging all our people to avoid contact -- intimate or not -- with the Love Bug virus, Bacon said. DoDs first mission is to protect its computer networks. All DoD computer users were told not to open any e-mail with the phrase I LOVE YOU in the subject field.

A message went out to all DoD commands about the virus. The department is working with Symantec and Network Associates -- experts in detecting viruses and developing vaccines. Current anti-virus measures do not detect the Love Bug. DoD officials first will put in filters to screen out the messages and then add a specific vaccine to detect and deal with the virus, Bacon said.

DoDs instructions were for those who received the message to delete it unopened. The Love Bug, also known as LoveLetter -- invaded news organizations, companies and other governments.

The Love Bug is a "worm" virus that spreads through e-mail like a chain letter, official said. Once a person opens the file in the Microsoft Outlook e-mail application, the virus triggers infected e-mail to everyone in the victim's personal address book. The virus also attacks graphic .jpg files.

DoD first detected the virus in Europe May 4, Bacon said. Computer security officials said they believe the virus originated in the Philippines.

Bacon said DoD will continue to protect its computer networks. DoD computer security experts will provide whatever support they are asked for to law enforcement agencies.

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