Mass-mailing email virus infects computers worldwide

Feb. 16, 2004, midnight | By Seema Kacker | 17 years, 4 months ago

A computer virus, spread by mass emails, known as Mydoom has infected millions of computers thusfar, and continues to spread at rates close to 1,200 emails per second, according to officials at Trinity Security Services.

All Blair email and networking systems, stemming from the MCPS central office, are protected from such viruses, according to Blair User Support Specialist Timothy Hall. "They should not be affected because the central office has filtering software set up," he said.

The virus is able to find all email addresses stored in address books and other data files and send itself to another user through an email attachment. It also adds the infected file to all shared directories such as those in programs like Kazaa. The email account from which the virus is sent may also be constructed from various accounts found in the computer's address books. The sending account may seem like a reliable source, but it could just be made up by the virus.

According to officials at Symantec, an antivirus company, Mydoom is able to monitor and keep track of any user names, credit card information, or passwords and send them out to users.

Infected computers become less efficient, and other programs may not run at normal speeds. Files on the computer may also become corrupted or changed.

Mydoom is programmed to block a series of websites, many of which contain anti-virus software downloads. In addition, on February 1, infected computers connected to, triggering a denial of service since so many computers would be connecting to the same website at one time. On February 3 they connected to, triggering another denial of service. Two more denials of service are expected on March 1 for each website.

According to Hall, the denials of service may be an attempt by Linux programmers to take revenge upon SCO (Santa Cruz Operations), a company involved with the Unix system who filed a series of lawsuits regarding the Linux system.

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Seema Kacker. Seema is a senior in the magnet this year, and is thrilled to be a part of the Online senior staff. She also plays tennis. More »

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