A computer virus called Mydoom has infected about 16 percent of e-mail messages worldwide and shows no signs of slowing. SCO Group Inc, whose Web site is under attack by the virus, offered a US$250,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the malicious code's author. \nMydoom has probably infected 250,000 computers via e-mail since yesterday, said Tony Magallanez, at engineer with Helsinki-based security-software maker F-Secure Oyj. That's the highest since the SoBig worm that slowed or shut down hundreds of thousands of computers in August. \n"The rate of infection has not declined, but it has leveled off at about 16 percent of all e-mail messages worldwide," said Magallanez from San Jose, California. The rate of infection has stopped increasing in the last few hours as companies have deployed more programs to clean up their computers, he said. \nMydoom is slowing company e-mail systems by installing a command in infected computers to send a flood of information requests to SCO's Web site when the computer's clock shows the date is on or after Feb. 1, F-Secure and Symantec Corp said. \nSCO, which is trying to collect royalties from companies using the Linux operating system, said its Web site was down for 10 minutes today. While the company isn't certain Mydoom was to blame, it wants to head off any possible attacks scheduled for Sunday, spokesman Blake Stowell said. \n"They're going to have a lot more trouble in a few days," said Craig Schmugar, a virus research manager with Network Associates Inc's McAfee division, referring to Lindon, Utah-based SCO. \nPersonal computers whose clocks are set wrong are probably responsible for the attacks on SCO, Magallanez said. \nSuch PCs with incorrect clock settings are probably less than a half of 1 percent of all infected machines, Schmugar said. \nThe rate of infection of e-mail has not slowed as expected, monitoring by McAfee shows. The company, which obtains reports of infected messages from e-mail service providers, expects the virus to taper off after yesterday morning San Francisco time, Schmugar said. \n"February 12th may be the only certain thing that makes this stop," said Schmugar, citing the date on which Mydoom's attack on SCO is programmed to conclude. \nSCO is working with the FBI and the US Secret Service but has been given no information about the possible identity of the virus's author, SCO's Stowell said. \n"This is the biggest attack since August," said Oliver Friedrichs, senior manager for Security Response at Symantec, the world's largest maker of anti-virus software. Mydoom, also called Novarg and a variant of the MiMail virus, is rated a "Level 4" attack, a designation last used for the Blaster worm in August. \nThe state of Pennsylvania discovered e-mails infected with the virus on its network, said Lee Feirick, a computer manager for the state. No computer networks have been forced to shut down he said. \n"It's definitely a nuisance," he said. \nProcter & Gamble Co, the largest US maker of household goods, is "working on an anti-virus update to protect against a rapidly spreading Internet virus," spokesman Doug Shelton said. \nOfficials at six of the largest US telecommunications companies, including Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Corp, said the virus hadn't disrupted service on their networks. At Qwest Communications International Inc, the fourth-biggest US local carrier, the virus has been a "nuisance," spokesman Steven Hammack said. \nMydoom is more powerful than previous viruses because it can randomly change the kinds of e-mail attachments it sends and it can search Web sites to find valid e-mail addresses, security experts said. \nA series of virus outbreaks in the past year has boosted shares of security-software companies. Shares of Network Associates have gained 45 percent since the start of August, while Symantec has risen 70 percent and F-Secure 97 percent.
‘UNACCEPTABLE’: The foreign ministry said that China’s behavior broke international law, while Johnny Chiang was worried such balloons could be used against Taiwan A suspected Chinese surveillance balloon flying over the US was yesterday condemned by officials in Taipei and sparked calls for the government to plan countermeasures. The Pentagon on Thursday said it had detected a Chinese surveillance balloon flying over the country. Beijing has said the balloon is a civilian meteorological device that drifted into US territory after being blown off course. The National Security Bureau and Ministry of National Defense should investigate whether surveillance balloons could be used against Taiwan and prepare to respond to such acts, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s postponement
INTELLIGENCE VALUE: While the US was working on recovering the balloon’s remains, China said that it reserved ‘the right to make ... necessary responses’ US President Joe Biden’s administration lauded the Pentagon for shooting down an alleged Chinese spy balloon off the US Atlantic coast on Saturday, but China angrily voiced its “strong dissatisfaction” at the move, and said it might make “necessary responses.” The craft spent several days flying over North America before it was targeted off the coast of the southeastern state of South Carolina with a missile fired from an F-22 plane, Pentagon officials said. It fell into relatively shallow water just 14m deep. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called the operation a “deliberate and lawful action” that came in response to China’s
RISK FACTOR: ASEAN issued a statement saying the cross-strait situation ‘could lead to miscalculation,’ but it is willing to facilitate dialogue to ensure stability in the region The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed a joint statement by ASEAN leaders voicing concerns that the situation across the Taiwan Strait could affect regional stability. The statement was issued after the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat ended on Saturday in Jakarta. It was the first major meeting since Indonesia assumed chairmanship of ASEAN this year. Attendees of the meeting reiterated their determination to promote “sustainable peace, security, stability, and prosperity within and beyond the region,” the statement said. They expressed concerns about developments across the Taiwan Strait and their “implications on regional stability,” the statement said. The cross-strait situation “could lead to miscalculation, serious
THINK TANK VISIT: The former US Indo-Pacific official said that a capture of Taiwan’s outlying islands by China rather than a large-scale attack is a grave security concern The US and Taiwan can deepen their relations on many fronts, former head of the US Indo-Pacific Command Philip Davidson said yesterday while visiting President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office. Davidson is leading a six-member delegation from the National Bureau of Asian Research, a US-based think tank. They arrived on Monday and are scheduled to depart tomorrow. Tsai met with the delegation yesterday morning, welcoming the organization on its first visit to Taiwan since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the office said in a statement. She thanked Davidson, a retired admiral, for paying close attention to matters regarding the Taiwan