Mydoom, the worst computer virus, cost the world $59 billion

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Steal personal information, reduce computer performance, or create all sorts of problems – a computer virus do all that and more. When the doors to the Internet are opened, the way is also opened for millions of Software malicious hackers who only have one goal, to cause harm.

With the advent of the technological age, cyber attacks They have only increased. According to a report by the security company Kaspersky prepared in August 2021, computer crimes in Latin America increased 24% in the first months from last year. Although the outlook for 2022 is not very encouraging either, the reality is that if compared to a decade ago, the ghost of a computer virus that was responsible for sowing terror among millions of users still rests in the records of network security. .

Silent and deadly, this was Mydoom, the computer virus faster and more contagious of history In its wake, all devices were in danger, there was no computer that could be saved from the terrible consequences of this virus that spread throughout the world. More than malware, it was a stealthy and audacious pandemic that threatened to end the security of millions of netizens.

Mydoom: invisible but dangerous

Mydoom era un malware potentially harmful and powerful that so far he has not found an opponent worthy of his replacement. He far surpassed previous records set by the Sobig worm. Before the arrival of Mydoom, he took the honorable title of the fastest worm in history and defeated the ILoveYou virus, a worm written in VBScript that affected approximately 50 million computers causing millions in losses. Nothing worrying if we compare them with the 59,000 million dollars that Mydoom cost the world.

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Being part of one of the most important American PC software distribution families in the world has never been as risky as 18 years ago. According to records issued by the media at the time the worm began its attacks -approximately January 2004- its victims were users who had computers with Microsoft Windows 95 or higher operating system.

Recovery Labs, a computer security company specializing in the development of computer data recovery applications and services, indicated that el mode of operation of the worm was to spread by email in messages with variable characteristics and, sometimes, through the KaZaA file sharing program.

How did he attack?

For a malicious program, it was much more effective than any antivirus or expert that could fight it. Who would suspect a seemingly harmless message in the inbox? No one was going to risk ignoring, say, a warning about a legitimate bounced email. If there was a contest for the perfect cheat, Mydoom would undoubtedly have to be among the finalists, its operating system was a real headache for years.

Once the user opened the file, there was no going back. Mydoom executed a malicious code that was responsible for send the malware to email addresses, while camouflaging itself from detection, according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

The above in simple terms; but if we analyze the computer virus from a technical point of view, what it did was create a copy of itself in C:Windows for later erase any computer trace and persist, even after reboot. In this way, it was almost impossible to get rid of the cyber worm.

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One of the most dangerous features was its TCP 3127 to 3198 backdoors, through which any user could remotely access the infected computer. Not only was it potentially dangerous, but amazingly smart. Proof of this is that it had the ability to spread indefinitely by searching for email addresses from infected devices and then sending itself and continuing to reproduce. It was a deadly and silent pandemic.

Computer terror spread

Mydoom programmer(s) -his identity was never revealed- they were ambitious in their first attack. For all or nothing they decided to attack in January 2004 the SCO Group, a corporation originally associated with Linux. The official page of the American company was the first victim of millions that would come later.

Not even the arduous investigations of the FBI or the juicy reward of $250,000 offered by the company when cybersecurity researchers revealed that MyDoom was programming a denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, they managed to stop the virus from doing its thing.

According to the multimedia portal CNET, the short-term solution was to create an alternative website ( that tried to mitigate the damage already caused. However, the next victim was not long in coming.

Unlike the SCO Group, Microsoft masterfully managed to deal with the Mydoom cyberattack on February 3, 2004. The tech giant appears to have used extensive preparation (since it, too, knew the attack was timed and offered a bounty) and meticulous planning to get around a hack that could have ended in an unfortunate ending.


It should be noted that Mydoom developed two variants. The first discovered on January 26, 2004 and the second, identified on February 28, 2004. According to Recovery Labs, the new variant was a greater danger than the previous one because it was “designed to prevent many antivirus programs from being able to update correctly.”

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Indiscriminately and quickly, Mydoom was responsible for sowing cyber terror in many territories of the world. From the United States to Australia and India they were hit by a pandemic that spread mercilessly among their computers.

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