January 30, 2004

MyDoom Worm Spreads as Hunt for Author Intensifies

LONDON (Reuters) - A cyber dragnet aiming to flush out the author of the MyDoom computer worm intensified Friday as the outbreak crippled still more e-mail networks.

Investigators and security experts hoped their hunt would get a boost after Microsoft Corp. offered a $250,000 reward Thursday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the creator of one variant, MyDoom.B.

The offer follows a similar $250,000 bounty from software firm SCO Group Inc . The 'doom' viruses are programmed to unleash digital attacks aimed at overwhelming both firms' Internet sites starting this weekend.

'If there is a break, it will come from the bounties,' said Mikko Hypponen, research manager at Finnish anti-virus firm F-Secure.
MyDoom.A, also known as Novarg or Shimgapi, emerged on Monday often masquerading as an e-mail error message from a 'Mail Administrator' and other official-looking addresses that contains a file attachment.

Hundreds of thousands of computer users have clicked on the seemingly benign attachment, infecting their computers.

The attachment releases a program capable of taking over the victim's computer, experts warned, before scouring the Internet for more vulnerable machines.

The effect is a massive logjam of data traffic that bogs down e-mail servers and rejects many incoming and outgoing messages.

No comments: