The Philippines National Bureau of Investigation has filed charges against a student accused of releasing the “ILOVEYOU” virus that stymied e-mail servers and caused billions of dollars of damage in May.
Onel de Guzman, 23, was charged with theft under a Philippines law that traditionally covers credit card fraud. If convicted on the charges, Guzman could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, according to The Manila Times.
Only after Guzman's alleged crime did Philippine lawmakers seek to develop legislation that covers Internet crime. The law, enacted a week ago, cannot be applied retroactively against Guzman.
The “ILOVEYOU” virus was released on 4 May and quickly crippled email servers around the globe. Sam Bhavnani, a research analyst for Computer Economics, said the virus’ final global damage estimate reached £5.7bn.
The bug was sent to approximately 84 million users, and 2.5 million to 3 million were actually infected according to Bhavnani.