■ Computer Virus
MyDoom variant rises
A new computer worm is wiggling its way through the Internet. Computer antivirus companies Symantec and H+BEDV are warning their customers of the existence of a MyDoom variant known as Worm/MyDoom.AH. The worm is a threat to anyone using the Microsoft Windows operating system. Like MyDoom, the new MyDoom.AH virus exploits a securit flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser. The worm opens port 1639 on the infected computer and through this opening can allow unauthorized access to the infected computer system. The MyDoom.AH worm spreads itself by sending e-mail messages to addresses found on the infected system. It also constructs e-mail addresses based upon addresses it finds. The worm sends out a message in which recipients are requested to click a link found in the body of the message. When the link is clicked, a Web server is contacted that then infects the user's computer. E-mail messages containing the MyDoom.AH virus will include a subject line such as "hi!," "hey!," "Confirmation," or one that is blank.
China expects surge
Mergers and acquisitions in China will multiply 10-fold or more in the next five years, accounting for about half of overseas investment in the nation, a Chinese official said. Foreign companies were involved merger deals valued at US$3.8 billion in 2003, 7.2 percent of the US$53 billion China received in foreign investment, Victor Gao, chief executive of the China State-Owned Enterprise Investment Co told a finance conference in Shanghai. There will be "huge merge and acquisitions opportunities" as China, Gao said, noting that his agency alone has a goal of selling off small state-owned companies and merging 187 large state-owned businesses into 50.
■ MP3 Music
Downloads get costly
Employees using company computers to download MP3 music files are costing Australian firms at least A$60 million (US$45 million) a year. Melbourne-based network management company Exinda Networks went through Australian Bureau of Statistics data and the files of an internet service provider to come up with a picture of the cost of bandwidth stealing in the workaday world. Exinda said local businesses were spending A$450 million (US$352) a year on accessing the Internet. Of that, A$58 million (US$44 million) was paid out for illicit usage -- the equivalent of 1 million MP3 files each day.
■ Tax Fraud
China eyes foreigners
China is threatening a crackdown on foreign companies after a survey indicated evidence of widespread tax fraud, state media reported Sunday. Alarm bells have been ringing after a team investigated 9,465 foreign-funded enterprises in southern Guangdong province and found that only a small minority was following the rules, the China Business Weekly newspaper said. "Almost 90 percent of the foreign enterprises are making money under the table," Huang Zhaoming, head of the team, told the paper. The most common form of fraud involves transfer pricing, in which transnational companies shift income to their affiliates overseas, reducing the profits in China so they can avoid paying taxes, according to the paper.