[svlug] LoveLetter reporting -- Microsoft, not computer, virus

kmself@ix.netcom.com kmself at ix.netcom.com
Thu May 4 10:19:37 PDT 2000

With LoveLetter being all the news today, it is important IMO to make
very clear to the media that this is a Microsoft/Windows worm, not a
general computer virus.  I wrote the following note to NPR, which was
carrying this as their lead story today.  I'd encourage others to
send similar mail to NPR and other news organizations.

Subject:  LoveLetter worm -- Microsoft virus, not Computer virus

The LoveLetter virus is not a general "computer" virus, but a worm very
specific to Microsoft's Visual Basic programming language and Outlook
email program.  While users of other operating systems and/or software
might suffer an onslaught of email resulting from the worm, they won't
propogate it.  Microsoft operating systems and software are required for

You can find a synopsis of the virus from F-Secure, a computer security
firm, here:  http://www.f-secure.com/v-descs/love.htm

The distinction is important:  Microsoft has a long history of producing
products which are either not secure, and allow foreign or untrusted
programs to be executed, or are not designed with the implications of a
tightly networked computer system in mind.  The existance of exploits
such as LoveLetter, the Melissa Virus, and thousands of other computer
viruses, is based directly on the fundamental architecture of
Microsoft's operating systems and software.

More importantly, users of other operating systems, notably Linux and
Unix, while not completely free from such problems, experience them to
a far, far less extent that Microsoft "customers" (or would that be
monopoly abuse victims?).

...and, of course, if there are any factual corrections to my comments,
I'd appreciate knowing about them.

Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com>         http:/www.netcom.com/~kmself
    What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
GPG fingerprint: F932 8B25 5FDD 2528 D595  DC61 3847 889F 55F2 B9B0
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