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Fighting off Mydoom

13 February 2004

BERLIN – The computer virus Mydoom.A was logged a third of a million times trying to break into the German federal government network, but the computers coped well despite the extra load, the Interior Ministry said.

In big networks, the worm can be reliably caught using filters, but a high-volume attack can slow internal traffic to a crawl.

The federal network, the IVBB, has two main hubs, in Berlin and the former capital Bonn where there are still several government departments. The gateway computers registered 475,000 incoming virus-infected e-mails in January and rendered them harmless.

The ministry, which manages the huge network, said 320,000 of that tally contained Mydoom.A, a worm that reproduces its way into other computers and opens a personal computer up to hacker attack.

The IVBB handles 400,000 e-mails per day. On normal days, 1 to 2 per cent are infected, but 10 times as many were corrupted during the Mydoom.A attack, with 40 000 to 80 000 infected mails being intercepted daily.

The computer centre said there was only a single instance of the successor, Mydoom.B, being caught.

Virus-hunters say Mydoom was the fastest-spreading virus ever, and may be lurking on as many as 400,000 Windows computers worldwide.

Subject: German news