What is the First Computer Virus in the Philippines?

The ILOVEYOU virus, also known as Love Bug or Love Letter Virus in the Philippines, was the first major computer virus outbreak and caused widespread destruction and global panic in May 2000.

Onel de Guzman of Filipino origin created the virus. His goal was to gain access to passwords and internet accounts of unsuspecting users without their knowledge. Subsequently he confessed and regretted creating it.


What is The First Computer Virus in the Philippines. Known as “the love bug”, the ILOVEYOU virus quickly became an international threat after tricking users into opening an email attachment from its sender, known as an attachment in an email message from an untrustworthy source. Once opened, this malicious software would wreak havoc by overwriting computer files such as JPEG images and Word documents with copies of itself sent directly to all contacts listed in a victim’s address book – prompting companies like Ford Motor Company and AT&T to temporarily suspend email systems while governments such as Pentagon CIA had to temporarily close offices for protection measures.

Onel de Guzman, 24, an undergraduate student at Manila’s AMA Computer College. Living in poverty, de Guzman had to pay Internet access on a per-usage basis, unlike what was commonplace in wealthier nations. De Guzman used principles outlined in his undergraduate thesis as the basis of creating his virus worm.

Though de Guzman never saw any financial gain from his worm’s spreading, no criminal charges were brought against him due to lack of laws against hacking at that time in the Philippines. Over time he faded from computer history, eventually working at mobile phone repair shops around Manila instead.


The ILOVEYOU virus was one of the earliest major cybercrime incidents to gain wide public recognition and shake public perception of cybersecurity worldwide. Spreading rapidly across millions of computers worldwide, this infection took advantage of both technical vulnerabilities as well as social engineering techniques by sending itself as text files which executed on computers to overwrite important files and steal user data – leaving millions infected and billions damaged in its wake.

The virus first emerged in the Philippines and quickly spread around the globe, from Hong Kong to Europe and eventually America. Two suspects responsible, Reonel Ramones and Onel de Guzman, were arrested but eventually released due to no laws prohibiting writing malware in their home country at that time.

De Guzman created the worm as part of his undergraduate thesis at Manila Tech Company where he interned as an intern, in order to develop a trojan that could capture Internet passwords so those without affordable Internet access could gain free entry to the Web.

ILOVEYOU malware

The ILOVEYOU virus was one of the largest-scale malware outbreaks ever. It spread through millions of computers worldwide and caused huge amounts of damage – showing just how vulnerable computer systems can be to malicious software attacks.

This virus originated in the Philippines and spread via email attachments. It overwrote important system files, leading computers to crash and losing valuable data, sending copies to everyone in its victim’s address book – ultimately leading to widespread destruction and attracting global media coverage.

Authorities eventually identified two local programmers as being behind the virus’s origin. Reonel Ramones and Onel de Guzman, undergraduate students from AMA Computer College were arrested; however, due to no law against hacking existing in 2000 in the Philippines they were later released due to no penalties being enforced against hacking activities.

ILOVEYOU outbreak

The ILOVEYOU virus caused billions in damage worldwide and was one of the first email-borne viruses to go global. It took advantage of people’s curiosity by persuading them to open an attachment disguised as an innocent-looking love letter containing this malicious software, then overwriting important files on computers before sending copies to all their contacts and further spreading infection.

The outbreak drew considerable media coverage and cybersecurity professionals took note. Though its suspected authors were found, their cases never went to trial as the Philippines didn’t yet have laws prohibiting virus creation at that time.

After 20 years, the ILOVEYOU outbreak remains prominent and serves as an early real-world example of social engineering attacks. While devastating in terms of impact, this virus did not kill computers directly but rather made users more cognizant of spam and malicious attachments as potential risks; its presence highlighted the need for improved security practices and education programs.