Mydoom Email Worm (aka Novarg Mimail)

Virus protection makers are scrambling to keep the Mydoom email worm from spreading quickly over the Internet; antivirus updates for Mydoom should be available soon. Experts agree that it is infecting new machines at a faster rate than last year's Sobig-F.

The apparent object of the attack is www.sco.com, the web site of the SCO group, which has been featured prominently in the recent patent questions about Unix. The worm has also significantly slowed performance of U.S. business sites, according to Keynote Systems, a web-monitoring firm.

The worm arrives as an attachment to an official-looking email that typically masquerades as a system message about undeliverable mail. The message tries to get the user to click on the attachment, which then executes the worm code. A computer virus is code that attaches itself to another program, and is therefore different from a computer worm, which is a complete executable program. Virus protection software makers are scrambling to deal with this new threat. Click here to read more about computer worms and computer viruses.

The term "tapeworm" or "computer worm" was coined by science fiction writer John Brunner, in his marvelous 1975 book Shockwave Rider.

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