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Hidden message in latest MyDoom worm

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The unknown authors of the latest variant of the MyDoom email worm have embedded a hidden message inside their code, asking for a job in the anti-virus industry.

Like previous variants, the MyDoom-U and MyDoom-V worms spread via email with a malicious file attachment. Opening the attachment results in the activation of the worm and an attempt to download a backdoor Trojan horse called Surila onto infected machines.

Hidden inside these worms' code is a message that states "We searching 4 work in AV industry". No contact details and any other information is appended to the curious message. Neither of the new variants is spreading in large numbers since their appearance on the Net yesterday (September 9).

Romanian AV firm BitDefender offers a couple of theories on the message. “It seems the VX [virus writing] business simply isn't that profitable anymore due to the efforts of AV researchers, or else the person or persons behind Bagle really are winning the much-hyped ‘war of words and worms’,” it said.

"It's hard to tell if the creators of these new versions of the MyDoom worm are being serious, but there is no way that anybody in the anti-virus industry would touch them with a bargepole," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "It's very simple - if you write a virus, we will never ever employ you. Not only is it deeply unethical to write malicious code, but it raises issues as to whether you could ever be trusted to develop the software which protects millions of users around the world from attack every day."

Aside from ethical considerations, Sophos reckons the skills needed to write computer viruses are far removed from those needed to write reliable AV software.

The practice of virus writers posting appeals for work in malicious code is rare but not unprecedented. Michael Buen, a suspect in the Love Bug case, included his CV in a Word macro virus he produced, called Michael-B. Neither the virus - nor Buen's CV - spread particularly far. ®

Related stories

Telenor takes down 'massive' botnet
Infected PCs spew MyDoom variant
We're all MyDoomed
MS posts $250,000 MyDoom worm bounty
War of the worms turns into war of words

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