MyDoom Virus Hits Major Online Networks in South Korea and US

AhnLab, a Korean online security company, informs that a new variant of MyDoom virus is liable for a massive DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack that led to collapse of major US sites on July 4 & 5, 2009 and the South Korean websites on July 8, 2009.

MyDoom was found in January 2004 and became the fastest spreading mail worm in the history of the web. Once a system was hit by MyDoom, it would reap mail addresses and mails itself frequently. Early options of MyDoom were coded to run DDOS attacks against other sites within definite time periods.

The recent variant of MyDoom, identified by AhnLab, includes an installer that can bring other unsafe code into the hacked system. It is an attribute that was also present in the former versions of the malware. An extra file encloses information of the site to be attacked.

A study of source code of the new variant of MyDoom has revealed that it hit almost 23 US websites and 13 South Korean websites, most of them are included in the existing attack.

Moreover, AhnLab reveals that the code has been written in such a way that the hackers could change the list of the websites to be attacked.

However, two US government officials admitted that the sites of US treasury and secret service were brought down, and claimed that the agencies were working with their Internet service providers to solve the problem. In addition, officials of the South Korean Intelligence informed that a botnet of 18,000 infected systems situated on the Korean peninsula was used to initiate the attacks.

While the officials of South Korean Intelligence said that North Korea or sympathizers of North Korean were behind these attacks, they didn't provide any scientific evidence to justify their claims.

Meanwhile, cyber warfare is swiftly becoming one of the world's most controversial security issues, with the US and Russia divided over whether a treaty is needed to formally forbid it in international law, in a same manner to chemical weapons. Experts have cautioned that the world is facing a cyber arms race, with China and Russia being the major threats.

Related article: MyDoom E-mail Virus Turned Five This Year in January

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