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Wikipedia Infected with Old ILOVEYOU Virus

In a special report dated January 16 2008, Wikinews came to know that a couple of users, one with an undisclosed identity and another called User: MODX, inserted a malicious computer virus dubbed 'ILOVEYOU' or 'LoveLetter' into the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

The users added a VBScript code to Wikipedia pages to help insert the virus. The code that was also inserted into Wikipedia Sandbox, the page used for checking wikicode, did not cause faults on other pages.

An administrator of Wikipedia who noted this started to block the users and reversing the modifications they made to the various pages they hijacked.

The Wikipedia administrator, Scientizzle, who discovered the code and tried to remove the edits, said that he went ahead to delete the editors' contributions expecting to prevent subsequent attacks, acts of imitations, and any number of editors crashing into viral filters whilst browsing a 'page history'. Huliq published this in news on January 19, 2008.

Everything was going fine until a serious problem started to show up. The deletion process of the modifications on the Wikipedia page, Sandbox that contains a huge revision history, caused the media servers hosting just Wikipedia to be overloaded for 30 minutes. That, in turn, prevented innumerable users from editing and posting their content onto the encyclopedia, as the site was down for those thirty minutes.

Wikipedia developers quickly reacted by finding a solution to this massive deletion process should a similar event occur again. One developer, Brion Vibber, added restrictions to deletion on any page by offering 5,000 different revisions.

The worm 'ILOVEYOU' first appeared in the Philippines in May 2000 via e-mails with subject line 'I Love You'. Within 24 hours, it spread across the whole world, traveling to Hong Kong, Europe and the United States in that order.

The virus infected more than 10% of computers worldwide that were connected to the Internet. It started to overwrite files on the user's system after making its own copy. System files, music, multimedia and several others were damaged. However, the maximum destruction was born in cleaning the virus that globally cost US $5.5 Billion.

Related article: Wikipedia- New Tool For Hackers To Circulate Malware

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