WinInfo Daily UPDATE, January 27, 2004

This Issue Sponsored By

Argent Software


1. In the News
- New MyDoom Email Virus Spreading Quickly
- EU Reaches Preliminary Decision in Microsoft Antitrust Case

2. Announcements
- New Web Seminar: Email Is a Service--Manage It Like One
- Get 2 Sample Issues of Windows & .NET Magazine!

3. Event
- New--Microsoft Security Strategies Roadshow!

4. Contact Us
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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==== 1. In the News ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

New MyDoom Email Virus Spreading Quickly
A new email virus called MyDoom is spreading rapidly across the Internet through UNIX mail servers, bringing with it a dangerous attachment that, when opened, can give attackers access to users' computers through an electronic backdoor. The attachment targets Windows users, which account for roughly 96 percent of all computer users, and the rate at which this virus is spreading matches that of SoBig.F, previously the fastest-spreading worm of all time. As with earlier email viruses, MyDoom doesn't spread by means of any technical chicanery, relying instead on the ignorance of users who double-click any messages they see in their Inboxes. Email users are thus advised not to open attachments from sources they can't verify.
The sheer amount of traffic generated by the virus has already brought down many networks, and some security experts now believe that attackers originally launched the virus as a Denial of Service (DoS) attack on SCO Group, the UNIX copyright holder that's now suing various Linux companies for copyright infringement. However, this attack is having the most dramatic effect on end users, many of whom are still surprisingly uninformed when it comes to the dangers of opening attachments. When users open MyDoom-tainted email attachments, their systems become infected--with two side effects. First, their systems send infected email to all the users in their address books. Second, the virus places a backdoor on their systems that attackers can later exploit.
MyDoom email is identified by text in the body of the email that reads, "The message contains Unicode characters and has been sent as a binary attachment." The subject lines and attachment names vary. Typical subject lines on infected messages include "Mail Delivery System" and "Mail Transaction Failed." The attachments often appear as .zip files (e.g.,,, but can have virtually any extension, including .exe, .cmd, or .pif.
If you're using an antivirus package, make sure your definitions are up-to-date and follow the manufacturer's instructions for removing MyDoom (which is also identified as Novarg, Shimgapi, and W32/[email protected], depending on the source). F-Secure's Web site has a free disinfection tool for users who don't have antivirus packages.

EU Reaches Preliminary Decision in Microsoft Antitrust Case
The European Union (EU) has reached a preliminary decision in its Microsoft antitrust case, and "The Financial Times" reported yesterday that the EU will charge the company with breaking European competition laws and abusing its dominant position in the PC market. The alleged charges, which appear to be similar to the charges the company faced in its original US antitrust case, will result in a vastly different outcome, however. According to "The Financial Times," the EU will fine Microsoft for its violations, although the amount has yet to be decided. And although these developments seem to preclude any sort of settlement, sources at Microsoft still say they hope to reach an agreement with the EU that would forestall any public decision in the case. "We are still actively engaged with the \[European Commission--EC\] in order to find a positive resolution to this case," a Microsoft spokesperson in Brussels, Belgium, said yesterday.
"At this point, the European Commission is on the verge of wrapping up its Microsoft investigation," EC Spokeswoman Amelia Torres said yesterday. "There's a draft decision, but the decision itself has not been made, and certainly we cannot speak of fines yet."
In an effort to garner feedback, the EC's competition department is circulating a draft of its final decision against Microsoft to other departments within the commission. The EC will also present its findings to officials in each of the EU's member states before it determines the size of Microsoft's fine, which could be as high as $3.1 billion. Which concessions the EC will require from Microsoft is unknown, but the commission previously called for the company to unbundle Windows Media Player (WMP) from Windows and share more server-interoperability information with its competitors. If found guilty, Microsoft will be required to change the way it does business. The entire process should be completed by May 1, sources say, after which time Microsoft can issue an appeal of the decision.

==== 2. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

New Web Seminar: Email Is a Service--Manage It Like One
True end-to-end management of the messaging infrastructure requires an integrated, service-oriented approach. This free Web seminar introduces service-driven management and best practices for managing and monitoring the key elements crucial to ensuring email health and performance, including Exchange Server, Active Directory, network, and storage. Sign up today!

Get 2 Sample Issues of Windows & .NET Magazine!
Every issue of Windows & .NET Magazine includes intelligent, impartial, and independent coverage of security, Active Directory, Exchange Server, and more. Our expert authors deliver content you simply can't find anywhere else. Try two, no-risk sample issues today, and find out why 100,000 IT professionals read Windows & .NET Magazine each month!

==== 3. Event ====
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Microsoft Security Strategies Roadshow!
We've teamed with Microsoft, Avanade, and Network Associates to bring you a full day of training to help you get your organization secure and keep it secure. You'll learn how to implement a patch-management strategy; lock down servers, workstations, and network infrastructure; and implement security policy management. Register now for this free, 20-city tour.

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4. ==== CONTACT US ====

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