Arizona company subpoenaed in virus attack

Monday, 25 August 2003, 10:12 AM EST

Security experts managed to avert a threatened Internet attack, while FBI agents subpoenaed an Arizona company for clues to the origins of a fast-spreading computer virus that slowed e-mail systems worldwide this week.

The virus, the "F" variant of "Sobig," contained instructions to launch an attack Friday afternoon, but experts were able to identify and block most of the key computers needed as accomplices.

Sobig was programmed to try again today, "but I think it's really mitigated," said Chris Rouland, vice president for research and development at Internet Security Systems Inc. "All the network operators are aware they need to block these [Internet addresses] now."

Although SoBig.F was still creating mischief, the flood of e-mails triggered by the virus appeared to be letting up as of Saturday, according to Pete Ashdown, president of Salt Lake City-based Xmission, one of Utah's oldest and largest Internet service providers.

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