January 29, 2004Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â — Just 72 hours after it first appeared,
the worldwide economic damage wrought by the MyDoom virus is now estimated to
exceed $22.6 billion and its rapid spread has propelled it to the position of
second worst malware of all time, according to the mi2g Intelligence Unit (mi2g.net),
a digital risk firm.
According to mi2g, economic damage is a measure calculated in terms of loss of
business, bandwidth clogging, productivity erosion, management time reallocation
and cost of recovery.
The firm said last year’s Sobig virus was the worst of all time, causing $37
billion in economic damage.
The MyDoom virus is now regarded as the fastest spreading malware ever.
“This is an epidemic of unparalleled proportions in terms of the speed with
which it is progressing and the damage and destruction that accompany it.
Judging by the amount of calm on TV and radio, it suggests that the politicians
have not yet woken up to the full impact MyDoom is going to have on their
citizens’ safety and security,” said DK Matai, executive chairman of mi2g.
“The MyDoom episode has just begun and there is more to follow given the
millions of infected computers now waiting for remote command.”
mi2g also said that the virus could be part of a new generation of viruses known
as Distributed Intelligent Malware Agents (DIMA). The MyDoom DIMA family has
features that do not limit it to launching distributed denial of service (DDoS)
attacks, but suggest motivations including identity theft, online transaction
fraud, spamming and phishing.
Reports emerged yesterday that a variant of the MyDoom virus had emerged,
reportedly carrying a higher payload and set to unleash a DDoS attack against
software giant Microsoft’s Web site on February 1.
Computers affected by the original virus are set to launch a DDoS attack on the
sco.com Web site on February 1 as well.