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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Worm squirms its way through A&M

 
 

Approximately 1,000 e-mails sent to Texas A&M have been infected with the MyDoom worm, dubbed the worst worm since the Love Letter worm in May 2000.
Tom Putnam, director of Computer Information Services, said the University is working to create tools that detect and delete any infected e-mails.
“We are hoping we can find a way to catch all of them,” he said. “We are deleting them as they come through the front door.”
The MyDoom worm, which started in Russia, began spreading and infecting computers Jan. 26
Willis Marti, associate director for networking at A&M, said whoever spread the worm may be upset at the Utah-based SCO group, which has been pressing its claim that some of the creators of the operating system Linux copied parts of SCO’s computer code.
“There are all sorts of reasons for creating a worm or virus,” Marti said. ”
When you take over someone’s computer you can do interesting things.”
Marti said the worm looks at one’s e-mail address book and generates random e-mails that includes a message such as, “The message cannot be represented in a 7-bit ASCII encoding and has been sent as a binary attachment.”
“The infected e-mail may look like it comes from you or someone in your address book,” Marti said.
Putnam said the subject line of the e-mail may read “hi” or “hello” and look like a friendly e-mail.
Computer labs around campus began posting warning signs telling students not to open attachments from people they do not know, said Alexey Maslov, a senior computer science major.
“It spreads pretty fast, but most people know not to open attachments from someone you don’t know,” he said.
Putnam says the latest version of an anti-virus program, such as Norton, can decrease the chances of a computer being infected.
According to CNN.com, a reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the creator of the MyDoom worm.
Marti said some countries do not punish for sending out viruses and worms, but in the United States, one can receive jail time and a fine.
Marti said to be extra cautious when opening an e-mail.
“Please practice safe-hex,” he said. “This keeps spreading like a disease.”

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