MyDoom a Taste of Viruses to Come; Ricin Incident Illustrates Lapses in Security Net; No Part of Asia Safe from Bird Flu

MyDoom a Taste of Viruses to Come

According to a Reuters report on, e-mail viruses like Mydoom will be the weapon of choice for future attacks on corporate and political websites, with one worm able to threaten thousands of big sites at once, a top computer security official said yesterday. In the past three years, a series of increasingly sophisticated worm outbreaks have been used to get across a political message or blackmail businesses. Mydoom emerged last week in the form of a spam e-mail message containing a well-disguised virus attachment. It was programmed to take control of unsuspecting computer users' PCs, from which a successful denial-of-service attack was launched on SCO. "This showed the bad boys the virus works. ... If you want to do something like this, you can," the story quoted Mikko Hypponen of F-Secure.Ricin Incident Illustrates Lapses in Security NetThe Washington Post today, it suggests how easily another potentially deadly substance can slip through the safety web designed primarily to protect the nation's sprawling mail system from an anthrax attack. Unlike anthrax, ricin is not a biological agent and cant be killed by irradiation. In response to the ricin incident, postal officials late Monday night closed the V Street NE postal facility that processes U.S. government mail, including letters bound for the Senate. Postal officials, however, said they had not confirmed that they had handled the item. The Post reports that the Postal Service asked the White House to include $779 million in its 2005 budget request for additional detection equipment to avert bioterrorism, but the request was denied, said postal spokesman Mark Saunders.

If the ricin discovered in the Dirksen Senate Office Building had been mailed&mdashand officials were trying to determine yesterday how it got in an office mailroom of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.)—the poison escaped the security precautions built around catching anthrax and other bacteria. According to a story in

No Part of Asia Safe from Bird FluThe Sydney Morning Herald, two more fatalities in Vietnam have lifted the death toll from the bird flu outbreak to 16 as the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the disease was spreading so quickly that no part of Asia was safe. The warning came as Henry Niman, a bioengineer at Harvard Medical School, said China probably already had human cases of bird flu, and that precious time needed to prevent disaster was being lost because of a failure to acknowledge the extent of the epidemic. Some experts allege that the spread of bird flu has been much wider than previously thought, and that China has been covering it up. On Sunday, the WHO rang alarm bells in Vietnam when it announced that two sisters who died on January 23 could have contracted the virus from their dead brother.

According to

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 hot cybersecurity trends (and 2 going cold)