MyDoom: How it became the fastest worm ever

Monday, 2 February 2004, 10:24 AM EST

It's official: MyDoom is the fastest spreading e-mail virus or worm in computer history, beating out last August's SoBig.f. Security services firm MessageLabs reports that MyDoom, at its peak last Tuesday, was responsible for 1 out of every 12 e-mails. That compares with 1 out of every 17 e-mails for SoBig.f.

But what's even more incredible is that MyDoom does nothing special; instead, it relies largely upon classic, tried-and-true e-mail infection methods dating back at least four years. Which means we have only each other to blame for this outbreak.

So how did MyDoom do it? According to F-Secure, a Finnish antivirus company, MyDoom employed classic social engineering techniques. The author of MyDoom (which gets its name from a misspelling in the code for "my doomain," hence "MyDoom") crafted basic messages that looked like they could be legitimate e-mails.

By Robert Vamosi at ZDNet.

[ Read more ]

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