A new variant of the MyDoom worm, described variously as MyDoom.Q or MyDoom.O, that uses Yahoo! People Search to find new email addresses has been discovered sparking fresh calls in the industry for information leading to the arrest of the worm's author.
Last week, so many queries into Google that the search engine was unavailable or very slow for large periods of time. The same variant of MyDoom also succeeded in knocking a number of —including Altavista and Lycos—off the web completely.
At the time of writing, Yahoo People was functioning normally.
However, Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at antivirus firm Sophos, said he is not surprised that another MyDoom variant has been released and expects future variants to continue harvesting e-mail addresses from search engines.
"You don't have to be psychic to predict the release of more worms trying to scoop up e-mail addresses from search engines. Unfortunately, we expect to see other worm authors trying similar tricks in the future," said Cluley.
Earlier this year, both Microsoft and SCO each to anyone providing information that helped catch MyDoom's author.
Finnish antivirus firm F-Secure has posted a "job advertisement" on its web log offering readers a chance to "make money fast" by finding the author of MyDoom and cashing in on the rewards.
An entry posted on Tuesday evening, just after the latest variant was discovered, tries to persuade spammers and other members of the hacking underground to contact the FBI.
"If you have information on the origin of MyDoom, you're most likely connected to spamming in one way to the other [as MyDoom is used to create spam proxies]. So you should be able to appreciate money. $250,000 is a lot of money. Think about it," said the web log entry.