In the late 1990s, a wave of viruses spread through the Internet, delivered via e-mail, using contact information culled from Microsoft Outlook. A virus would simply e-mail copies of itself to each of the Outlook contacts that had an e-mail address. This was possible because, at the time, Outlook did not take any steps to protect data from programs using the Outlook API, since that API was designed for ordinary developers, not virus authors.
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