New MyDoom worm uses search engines to spread

A new variant of the MyDoom worm surfaced on Wednesday and is spreading itself using e-mail addresses found through search engines.

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 warned.

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 said.

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 explained.

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

The latest worm was created by repackaging an older MyDoom variant in an encrypted "wrapper" so that antivirus software could not recognize it, Cluley said. 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 added.

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

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scarlet Pruitt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?