What is the First Computer Virus in the Philippines?

On May 4, 2000, when the ILOVEYOU virus emerged, computer users were duped into opening attachments by this destructive worm commonly known as Love Bug or Love Letter causing over $10 billion in damage worldwide.

Onel de Guzman, a Filipino programmer studying at AMA Computer College in Singapore, designed this virus as part of his undergraduate thesis project.


What is The First Computer Virus in the Philippines. The ILOVEYOU virus first emerged on May 4, 2000 and quickly spread via email. Disguised as a love confessional message, this email persuaded recipients to open an attachment containing malicious code which activated a worm that replicated itself and sent copies out to every contact in their address book, eventually overwriting vital system files and leading to computer crashes.

Visual Basic was used to program this worm, enabling it to easily change itself as it moved from computer to computer and change target files and subject lines as it traveled through. Over 25 variants of ILOVEYOU circulated freely in the wild and caused various kinds of damage.

After the devastating impact of ILOVEYOU, Philippine lawmakers called for stronger cybersecurity measures. Since then, most companies and individual users are better protected against cyberattacks; however, social engineering attacks still pose a risk.


ILOVEYOU was one of the most destructive computer viruses ever, infecting millions of computers worldwide. Its early variants were sent as text files containing executable code which ran executable code when opened; exploiting weaknesses in Microsoft Outlook and Windows to gain full access to secondary storage, system data, email contents and secondary storage locations – costing billions in damages while awakening society to the threat of malware and showing the need for stronger cybersecurity practices.

ILOVEYOU was first detected in Manila on May 5, 2000, and quickly spread around the globe, eventually reaching Europe and America. Written in VBScript and delivered via email as spam messages that appeared from an acquaintance, the virus overwrote or deleted many essential files and sent itself out via every contact in its victim’s address book. Onel de Guzman from AMA computer college in Makati created it as part of his undergraduate thesis project for free internet access – though as there were no laws against hacking at the time he never faced prosecution for creating it!


On May 4, 2000, the ILOVEYOU virus struck. This malicious worm that spread through vulnerable machines worldwide temporarily paralyzed e-mail systems worldwide and was an eye opener to businesses and computer users worldwide that hackers existed and could cause serious consequences if precautions weren’t taken to stay protected.

Rapid proliferation caused millions of computers to be affected and led to widespread mainstream media coverage – illustrating just how vulnerable Internet connectivity still is today.

This was one of many major worms to emerge, showing just how dangerous spam can be. Onel de Guzman from Manila’s AMA Computer College and GRAMMERsoft ultimately took credit for creating it.

ILOVEYOU malware

ILOVEYOU was one of the largest cyber infections ever, awakening an unsuspecting world to the dangers posed by malware and the need for robust cybersecurity measures. It caused millions in lost business, prompting organizations and governments like Ford Motor Company, AT&T, the Pentagon and parliaments in Denmark and U.K. to shut down email systems as they attempted to contain and mitigate its damage.

ILOVEYOU was groundbreaking not only due to its impressive reach, but also for being one of the first programs that successfully used social engineering techniques to get victims to open its file – something which has since become standard practice across other forms of malware.

Reonel Ramones and Onel de Guzman were identified as the creators of ILOVEYOU after police tracked messages sent from infected computers to a Philippine Internet service provider, though they weren’t charged due to no laws against computer hacking at that time. De Guzman dropped out before graduating AMA Computer College to work full time as a mobile phone repairman instead, now lives a quiet life and regrets having written such a virus.