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article imageFBI on Search for Sobig Virus Origin

By Digital Journal Staff     Aug 24, 2003 in Technology
PHOENIX – A premium, high-quality UseNet access provider, Easynews.com has been subpoenaed by the FBI to provide any information relating to the account used to upload the Sobig virus to the UseNet network. Easynews.com is cooperating fully with the FBI on trying to locate the person who released the Sobig virus.
The Sobig virus was uploaded by an individual using the Easynews.com UseNet server on Monday, August 18. UseNet is a global network made of millions of people connected together through UseNet servers, such as Easynews.com. Easynews.com has been providing UseNet services since 1995 and its Puregig.net subsidiary is the largest Internet access provider in the Southwest.
The Easynews.com account, which spread the Sobig virus, was established minutes before the virus was released on the Internet on Monday, and was paid for with a stolen credit card number. The virus was posted from a home computer on a cable modem, which had been hacked, or compromised, by an unknown user.
The virus author used Easynews.com to release Sobig over the Usenet system, disguising it as a photograph in an adult news group. Anyone who clicked on the fake photo had their PC infected with the virus, which then e-mailed itself to every address found on the infected computer's hard drive.
UseNet users should beware of any messages from Misiko@dot.com sent on August 18, with the subject line "Nice, who has more of it?"
"Computers should be scanned to make sure they are not already infected, and anti-virus software should be up-to-date with current virus signatures," said Jeff Minor, President of Easynews.com, Inc. "Over the years, Easynews.com has strived to educate the public on safe UseNet practice."
Computer Experts Minimize Impact of 'Sobig' Virus
Computer security experts say a fast-spreading virus known as Sobig has not caused any major problems on the Internet.
Officials had feared a multistage attack Friday evening when the virus was programmed to contact 20 master computers. However, security experts were able to locate and shut down access to the 20 computers, limiting the impact of the attack.
Already, Sobig has resulted in e-mail disruptions at several businesses, universities, and other institutions since appearing earlier in the week. However, it did not damage computers, files, or critical data. Sobig appeared only days after viruses known as "LovSan" and "Blaster" clogged computer networks using the Windows operating system worldwide. Officials say Sobig could still launch attacks, but they are optimistic they will be able to minimize any problems.
It is not clear who is responsible for releasing the malicious computer program. (voa news)
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