Net Xpress: Internet serves up another plague with MyDoom

February 01, 2004|SHEILA J. CLARK

Last week, the Internet was served up a swift and impending plague of doom in the form of yet another high-risk worm outbreak.

MyDoom, a mass-mailing worm, and new variants of it are burning a trail throughout the Internet. The worm has already been coined as the worst ever after only two days of existence.

MyDoom puts previous viruses such as SoBig.F worm and SirCam to shame in regards to how quickly it has managed to spread itself. The virus affects computer systems running Windows 95/98/ME/ NT/2000 and XP.

MyDoom spreads itself via e-mail in the form of an attachment. It has its own built-in mailing engine and attempts to spread if a Kazaa shared directory is present on a system. It also gathers any address books found on an infected machine, then sends itself out with random subjects and body copy. The attachments have file extensions of .exe, .pif, .cmd and .scr.


The initial worm targeted SCO, known for its IBM lawsuits involving Linux, while the latest variant, MyDoom.B, targets Microsoft, one of SCO's partners. Denial-of-service attacks on SCO are set to begin today with a stop date for spreading on Feb. 12.

The denial-of-service attack on Microsoft is set between Tuesday and March 1. During this time, both companies are expected to receive high volumes of traffic that could end up causing their systems to shutdown due to the overload. The back door that the worm creates will, however, remain open after the stop date.

If you receive a message from an unfamiliar person, do not open it. Delete the message and empty the trash immediately. Also, be cautious of mail from people you do know who are suddenly sending you e-mail with attachments. They could be infected with a worm, or their address books or someone with their name in their address book may be infected.

To keep your computer from this doom and other worms and viruses, remember to keep your virus protection software definitions up-to-date and your operating system patched.

Read more about MyDoom and its variants at and

MSN Live online events

Legendary recording artist Bob Seger chats at 9:30 p.m.

Net buzzz

* Thursday, Google launched, an online social network, with the goal of helping to make the social lives between friends more active and stimulating. The online community is unique because it has a "by invitation only" membership. Learn more at

* Microsoft launched its MSN Premium Internet software earlier last month. The software is the latest for its Internet service. The main features the new software offers are spam and virus protection and a pop-up blocker. Read more.

* A new Internet Explorer flaw has been found that allows file extension spoofing but no patch has been released. Read more at

Sites to see

* Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the birth of Apple's Macintosh computer. Check out the NPR's little dedication to this happy occasion at It includes a photo gallery, Mac-related NPR stories and links to various Mac-related sites.

E-mail me at; fax me at (859)236-9566; or write me snail-mail at The Advocate-Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Danville, KY 40423-0149.

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