SCO Sets Bounty for Worm Writer

The SCO Group confirms it is experiencing a distributed denial-of-service attack apparently related to the Mydoom worm, and it is offering a reward for capture of the virus writer.

The Mydoom worm, also called Norvarg and Mimail.R, first appeared Monday and has spread rapidly.

Attack Scheduled

Its apparent target is SCO, which is embroiled in legal action against IBM over intellectual property rights related to its ownership of System V Unix code. The company says it is offering a reward of up to $250,000 "for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for creating the Mydoom virus."

In a statement released late Tuesday, the company said it has been the target of several such DDoS attacks during the past ten months.

But the one now under way "is different and much more troubling, since it harms not just our company, but also damages the systems and productivity of a large number of other companies and organizations around the world," says SCO CEO Darl McBride in the statement. "The perpetrator of this virus is attacking SCO."

"We do not know the origins or reasons for this attack, although we have our suspicions," adds McBride, who did not elaborate on those suspicions. "This is criminal activity and it must be stopped."

Representatives of the company also say they are working with U.S. law enforcement authorities, including the Secret Service and the FBI, to try to determine who might be involved in the attack.

Worm's Tactics

The Mydoom worm, also known as Novarg and Mimail.R, is a mass-mailing worm that arrives via e-mail as an attachment with one of several possible file extensions, including .bat, .cmd, .exe, .pif, .scr, or .zip. Users who open the attachment infect their computers. The worm is apparently designed to attack the company's Web site, www.sco.com, beginning on February 1.

Experts say the Mydoom worm is spreading faster than last year's Sobig.F, which topped the charts as the most widespread e-mail worm of 2003.

Both Network Associates and Symantec say that when the attached file is executed, the worm scans the user's system for e-mail addresses and forwards itself to those addresses. If the victim's PC has a copy of the Kazaa file-sharing application installed, the worm will also drop several files in the shared-files folder in an attempt to spread that way.

According to Symantec, the worm also installs a keystroke logger that can capture anything that is entered, including passwords and credit card numbers, and will start sending requests for data to SCO's Web site. If enough requests are sent, the SCO site could be forced offline.

This story, "SCO Sets Bounty for Worm Writer" was originally published by Computerworld.

  
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