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Doomsday virus reaches Norway today

A new vicious virus called MyDoom is spreading in record speed. The worm appears as an ordinary e-mail, and the ultimate goal is allegedly political.

MyDoom, also called Novarg, disguise itself as an innocent error message, and it is hitting new machines with an incredible speed.

“We got the message of the first ten infected machines in Norway around 10:30 p.m. last night,” said Henrik Vaage, manager at the security company Symantec, to TV 2 Nettavisen. “At midnight, the virus had spread to thousands of machines.”

Worst attack in ages
The antivirus experts claim that this worm is the worst one they have seen in months, and it has potential to hit more machines than the notorious Nimda from 2001.

Vaage said that Symantec has graded the worm a level 4 on a scale that reaches five. This is the same level as the other Sobig virus got.

The worm is disguised as an ordinary e-mail with an error message that a mail from one of your contacts did not show as usual, and there are different types of attachments added, like .bat, .exe, .zip and .scr.

Normally, the statement “The message cannot be represented in 7-bit ASCII encoding and has been sent as a binary attachment” will appear in the subject field. The virus also uses a Windows’s icon in order to make MyDoom even more effective in tricking people to open the attachments.

The worm can among other things install backdoors and other program which makes it easier for others to collect your passwords or break into your computer.

Don’t open suspect attachments
“For private individuals, we can only repeat the same old story, don’t open unknown attachments,” Vaage said. “As for companies, it can be beneficial to close communication in the firewall between gates 3127 and 3198.”

The worm is programmed to run a so-called DoS attack (Denial of Service) against the website of the SCO, also known for its crusade against the open source coding company Linux. The attack is going to start February 1 and last to February 12.

“This is the first time we see that a virus and a vicious code are being used with political purpose against organizations,” Vaage added.

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