View Full Version : MyDoom Worm Spreads Via Search Engines

Darrell Lawrence
02-17-2005, 02:53 PM

Scarlet Pruitt, IDG News Service

Internet users are being threatened by yet another variant of the MyDoom mass mailing worm, which is spreading in part by using e-mail addresses found through popular search engines, security experts warn.

The new variant was first spotted late Wednesday and reports from computer users suggest the worm is already circling the globe, according to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

The worm proliferates by e-mailing itself through its own SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) engine, according to Sophos. When it infects a computer it scans the hard disk for e-mail addresses and then takes the domains of the addresses it finds and queries search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Lycos looking for similar addresses, Cluley says.

If it finds the address JohnDoe@yahoo.com, for instance, it will use a search engine to look for other addresses at the yahoo.com domain to send itself to, Cluley explains.
Similar Spread

A similar MyDoom variant appeared last July and managed to slow some search engines as it flooded them with queries.

Cluley says he doubts the new variant will have the same effect since this outbreak is not as severe. Additionally, search engines have taken measures to prevent being crippled by the worm again, Cluley says.

The latest worm was created by repackaging an older MyDoom variant in an encrypted "wrapper" so that antivirus software could not recognize it, Cluley says. The method is just one of the clever ways hackers use to hide their attacks and antivirus firms should be aware of the ruse, he adds.

Internet users should make sure their antivirus software is up to date to avoid infection.

Darrell Lawrence
02-17-2005, 03:29 PM
..and if anyone by chance does not have anti-virus software, or theirs is currently messed up, or if they just want to double check their drives, then here is a free online check-


03-27-2005, 09:54 PM
Sorry to jump in here. I'm only a newbie on this site, but I have been an IT professional for over 10 years now, and I thought I'd throw in a little help as well.

Virus scanners are very important, but you should also have decent spyware/malware checkers installed on your system.

Spyware/malware is little programs that come down while you are visiting some sites. Most of it is fairly benign, but there is some nasty stuff out there that can log each keystroke you make (bad if you do net-banking), and some which can get your computer to dial long-distance numbers (bad for the phone bill), and other stuff.

Even the ones that don't do any REAL harm sit in your memory taking up space, and can lead to your system crashing or becoming unstable.

Some great detectors are Spybot (www.safer-networking.org) and Adaware (www.lavasoft.com). Both are free for personal use, and can be used together to keep your system nice and clean.

If you are after a free for personal use virus scanner (and a VERY good one at that), you can try AVG (www.grisoft.com).

Using all these, in combination with the Firefox browser, and regular windows updates (make sure you check for and download ALL the critical updates regularly) can keep all the little nasties at bay from your computer and save you lots of grief.

Happy computing! :)