MYDOOM: 40 PERCENT OF ALL EMAILS

The Australian

AS the Mydoom computer worm continued to clog up the internet today, its successor Mydoom.B was not spreading as violently as feared, security experts pointing to design flaws in the latest version of the bug.

“Over 40 per cent of the internet traffic now consists of infected emails generated by the first Mydoom virus, and it’s still spreading,” Mikko Hyppoenen, of the Finnish anti-virus firm F-Secure, told AFP.

“It’s levelling off slowly however, and it’s less visible to the end user, but ISPs (internet service providers) still face problems with the email loads.”

The Mydoom bugs are worms, a subgroup of computer viruses characterised by the fact that they spread independently through email, Hyppoenen said.

The Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab said today that Mydoom.B was being propagated by the 600,000 or so computers that were infected by Mydoom.A.

With 40% of all e-mails garbage generated by this worm and–I’m guessing here–57% devoted to penis enlargement spam and Nigerian financial opportunities, the toll on the system is rather high.

Resolved: Death by slow torture is too good for the people who create and intentionally distribute these e-mails.

Discuss.

FILED UNDER: Science & Technology
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Paul says:

    Splitting an important hair with you James the story says 40% of all internet traffic not 40% of mails. That would be a much larger number.

    As someone who owns an operate a small ISP I find this claim highly dubious.

  2. zygote says:

    While I do have intense hatred for those who create and unleash these worms, I think my anger boils even more for the idiot users who, after all these years, continue to click on things randomly in their e-mail.
    We’ve been through this now a thousand times and yet people still click away and then act surprised when it turns out to be a virus.
    If you take “stupid people” out of the equation, then it matters not one whit what the creators of these buggies did.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Paul: Interesting. It may have just been a misunderstanding on the terminology? Plus, it’s already tomorrow in Australia, so they probably have new numbers. 🙂

    zygote: Depends on the worm, but yes in this case. Still, being an idiot is less severe than actual malevolence.

  4. McGehee says:

    Still, being an idiot is less severe than actual malevolence.

    Morally, maybe. But in terms of actual negative consequences, stupidity will outperform malice every time.

  5. James Joyner says:

    Kevin: Certainly true. Although that’s probably a sheer numbers thing.

  6. Yet another reason to use Mozilla Thunderbird instead of MS Outlook.

  7. James Joyner says:

    Jake: Likely true. I use Outlook Express out of habit and because that’s what’s installed at the office.

  8. MacIntosh.

  9. McGehee says:

    Gesundheit.