A new computer virus disrupted
Google, Yahoo and other leading search engines Monday as it tried to spread
itself by repeatedly performing automated queries for additional e-mail
Those simultaneous searches from
thousands of infected computers worldwide taxed the search engines and slowed
service for many legitimate Internet users.
The latest virus is a variant of
MyDoom, which first appeared in January. The new incarnation came on the
same day Google Inc. filed papers detailing its highly anticipated stock
offering, estimating its market value to be as high as $36 billion.
Google spokesman Steve Langdon
acknowledged that while the site was never crippled, performance was slow for
a brief period, longer for "a small percentage of our users and
Lycos Inc.'s search engine also
was affected. Spokeswoman Ana Sanchez said technicians were "putting in
the blocks to filter out the undesirable traffic."
Yahoo Inc. spokeswoman Stephanie
Ichinose described the virus's effect on the Yahoo and AltaVista search
engines, both owned by Yahoo, as limited. She said Yahoo detected the queries
early and took "the necessary steps to rectify the situation,"
though she would not disclose details.
The latest MyDoom is by no means
the fastest or most prevalent virus, but it is noteworthy given its novel
technique for spreading.
Like most other viruses, it
activates when a user clicks on e-mail attachment containing the malicious
code. The virus searches the user's computer for e-mail addresses to which to
But in addition, it runs through
the search engines any domain names that it finds, and it checks the Web pages
returned for additional e-mail addresses.
Spammers have used similar
techniques to harvest e-mail addresses for sending junk mail, but this is
the first time a virus has such capability built in, said Oliver Friedrichs, a
senior manager for security response at Symantec Corp., an antivirus software
Telafici, director of operations for McAfee Inc.'s antivirus research
unit, said viruses sometimes check search engines to make sure the infected
computer has a working Internet connection, but ones in the past did not
actually collect addresses this way.
The major antivirus vendors have
released software updates to block the latest virus and recommended that users
keep their products current.
mailings, click here
Ixquick submits your search to the major search
engines and finds sites that are universally ranked in
the top ten!
Search66 is Australia's parallel search engine. Find
what you're looking for on the Net in Australia (or
the world) first time - every time!
The Mother of All Search Engines.
eCommerce and software solutions.
professional search engine submission service.