The ‘I Love You’ That Cost Billions

In 2000, when people were still naive enough to open email attachments from unknown sources, the ILOVEYOU virus (also known as “I Love You” or “Love Letter” virus) quickly spread and cost billions of dollars in damages and repairs.

It’s only Wednesday but it’s throwback time! Let’s go back to the year 2000, when people communicated online primarily via email. The virus originated in the Philippines, then spread to Hong Kong, to Europe and finally to the United States. The White House, Congress, the FBI and the Pentagon were all affected. The State Department was forced to disconnect its computer systems from the internet, according to a spokesman. The damages was estimated at US$ 5.5 Billion during its first week of spread alone. The final cost (including system repairs) was estimated at US$ 15 Billion.

 

I Love You Virus
“I Love You – and I won’t think you’re stupid for actually opening this attachment.” – is probably the long form of the message.  Image from people.carleton.edu

 

The author of the virus is alleged to be a Filipino Continue reading The ‘I Love You’ That Cost Billions

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Will an extra second disrupt banking and trading systems ?

Because the earth rotation is slightly slowing, there is a need to add an extra second to sync clocks to the earth’s rotation. On June 30, a “leap second” will be added by the International Earth Rotation Service in Paris.

For us people, that action may be unnoticeable, but not so for computers. When a leap second was last added in 2012, Mozilla, LinkedIn, Reddit and other websites crashed. Will adding an extra second affect banking and trading platforms that are becoming increasingly dependent on the computers and the internet?

According to a report in the TelegraphUS delegates at the conference in Geneva in 2012, opposed adding leap seconds since this action may disrupt timed money transactions, among other things. However, experts believe that this is a better option than adding leap minutes in the future to catch up. The Earth’s rotation may also slightly speed up, so removing a second is also a possibility.