Wikinews has learned that two users, one anonymous and the other only known as MODX, added code on the collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia for a computer virus known as the LoveLetter or ILOVEYOU virus.
The users inserted the VBScript code into various pages including the Wikipedia Sandbox, a page used for editorial testing. This was relatively harmless, as the code could not be activated despite causing some antivirus software to issue an alert.
A Wikipedia administrator began blocking the users and reverting their edits. “I went further and deleted the contributions of these editors where I could in the hopes of preventing follow-up attacks, copycat actions, and random editors stumbling into viral traps whilst walking through a page history”, said Scientizzle, the administrator who found the code and attempted to clean up the additions.
The ILOVEYOU virus or worm started in the Philippines on May 4, 2000 in e-mails titled ‘I Love You’. In less than a day, it managed to spread across the entire globe, traveling to Hong Kong, to Europe, and then the United States. At least 10% of the world’s computers that had Internet access were infected with the virus. The virus overwrote files on computers with copies of itself, including system files and multimedia.