SCO offers $250,000 reward for arrest of Mydoom author

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SCO offers $250,000 reward for arrest of Mydoom author

The SCO Group 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", following a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack apparently related to the worm.

The company said it has been the target of several such DDoS attacks during the past 10 months. 

SCO is embroiled in legal action against IBM over intellectual property rights related to its ownership of System V Unix code.

But the latest attack "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 organisations around the world", said SCO chief executive officer Darl McBride. 

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

The company also said it is working with US law enforcement authorities, including the US Secret Service and the FBI, to try to determine who might be involved in the attack. 

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. When a user opens the attachment, his computer becomes infected. The worm is apparently designed to attack the company's website, www.sco.com. 

Experts have said that 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. 

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 has a copy of the Kazaa file-sharing application installed, it will also drop several files in the shared-files folder in an attempt to spread that way. 

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

Ken Mingis writes for Computerworld


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