MANILA, Philippines - U.S. government agents are going over logs of angry e-mail messages sent by people victimized by the ''ILOVEYOU'' computer virus to its creator, who used Philippine e-mail addresses, a Philippine Internet service provider said Sunday.
Jose Carlotta, chief operating officer at Access Net, said he gave six to seven pages of e-mail logs to FBI agents Saturday.
''A lot of these messages were from irate victims,'' Carlotta said. ''They were either insulting him, or ironically, some were praising him for writing such a brilliant virus. From all over the world this guy was getting both curses and praises.''
In Washington, the FBI's Michael Vatis, the agency's lead investigator on computer viruses, confirmed Sunday that the two countries are jointly investigating a single suspect but said no arrests had been made.
''We'll have to wait and see how their investigation progresses before we can say anything,'' Vatis said.
He did express concern about a weekend delay in obtaining a search warrant from a Philippines court.
''One of the concerns we often have in computer crimes is getting to the target computer before evidence is erased, before a hard drive is discarded or the trail is covered up by the suspect,'' Vatis said. ''Time is a critical factor in all of these cases because the evidence is fleeting.''
The ''ILOVEYOU'' virus unleashed a flood of e-mail that hit at least 45 million users in at least 20 countries on Thursday, according to one estimate. The virus started with ''ILOVEYOU'' in the subject line, but several variations appeared soon afterward, including one masquerading as an e-mail joke and another as a receipt for a Mother's Day gift.
He said the virus both replicates itself and steals the user names and passwords of unsuspecting victims.
The e-mail replies from angry virus recipients to the creator passed through a U.S. e-mail address, isp-admmail.com, which then forwarded them to the two Access Net e-mail accounts used by the virus creator - spydersuper.net.ph and mailmesuper.net.ph, Carlotta said.
The two Access Net accounts were used only as a ''catch basin'' to store hacked information, Carlotta said. They had received about 2,500 messages each before they were disabled before dawn Friday.
Carlotta said he believes the virus was launched from other Internet service providers but the virus programmer used Access Net as his e-mail return address. Net Access offers prepaid e-mail accounts activated with the purchase of a plastic card, much like a phone card, without the buyer needing to give personal information.
Authorities are still unable to identify the programmer, but several possible suspects have emerged.
The Philippines' National Bureau of Investigation was following leads that the virus maker was a 23-year-old man who lives in Manila's lower middle-class district of Pandacan. Calls to the officer in charge of the investigation were unanswered Sunday.
Computer security company ICSA.net in Reston, Va., said comparisons of the ''ILOVEYOU'' virus with a password-stealing program written earlier suggested the author is a student at AMA Computer College in the Philippines.
Computer colleges in the Philippines sometimes teach students how to cope with viruses by having them first write their own. AMA officials could not be reached Sunday for comment.
A Swedish researcher said Saturday that he had found postings on the Internet pointing to a German exchange student in Australia as the virus creator. He reported the information to the FBI, but Vatis said he couldn't comment on the allegation.
''I would caution people to understand, though, that in these types of cases where there is immense attention to it and it's worldwide, there are a lot of allegations that come up, many of which turn out to be baseless,'' Vatis said.