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Indian businesses try to ward off 'MyDoom' attack

Godrej and VSNL have issued alerts to customers about the virus.MyDoom prevention and cure

tech reviews Updated: Jan 29, 2004 18:03 IST

E-mail boxes across Mumbai have been flooded with the "MyDoom" virus, the fastest spreading e-mail worm ever, according to the a leading anti-virus software website.

Leading companies, including the Godrej Group and Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL), were scrambling to alert customers about the need to exercise caution before opening any e-mail attachment.

The worm has infected systems in several of their largest clients, including banking and telecommunications companies.

VS Satam, systems administrator in the Godrej Group of companies, said the virus had infected nine computers in a local area network (LAN) on Tuesday.

"Fortunately, we were able to identify the computers that had been infected. The Symantec Company alerted us about this virus and we are able to take corrective measures," Satam told IANS.

"However, the problem is that many unsuspecting persons unintentionally opened executable files. But now the situation is under control."

VSNL on its part said that it had made changes to the filters for its Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, which transfers mail reliably and efficiently.

B Prince, an engineer at VSNL, said the company had updated its virus alerts as well.

Hathway cable internet, one of the largest Internet service providers in Mumbai, warned its customers late on Wednesday evening that "MyDoom" was spreading at a furious rate on the Internet.

It said the virus also copied itself to the registry in Windows so that it became active once a computer was started up.

"Much of the data in the worm's code is encrypted," an anti-virus expert said. This makes analysis of the worm more difficult.

Some users reported receiving as many as 100 copies of the worm in a 30-minute span on Monday.

"The easiest way to remove MyDoom is to update your anti-virus programme," said Hathway.

The virus spreads through e-mail messages. When viewed, it looks totally garbled and cannot be deciphered. The body text urges recipients to click on the attached file if the contents of the message are damaged or unreadable. The virus launches when the attachment is opened.

Yahoo Group, which has millions of Indian subscribers, put up a notice on Wednesday debarring many emails and returned mails to senders to reduce the spread of viruses.

First Published: Jan 29, 2004 17:56 IST