Mydoom author sorry for his sins...

A variant of the virus has a cryptic message in which the author appears to apologize for creating the infection. The MyDoom variant that joined the original virus in wreaking havoc on the Internet last week contains a cryptic message in which the author appears to apologize for the malicious code, security experts say.

The creator of what anti-virus experts say is the fastest spreading virus ever on the Internet signed MyDoom and MyDoom.B with "andy," and left the following message in the latter version: "I'm just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry."

"Our interpretation is that he's apologizing to the general public," Jimmy Kuo, research fellow at anti-virus software maker Network Associates Technology Inc., said Friday. "Our guess is that someone is paying him to write this thing." Both MyDoom versions install a "back door" in infected PCs, enabling hackers to commandeer the machines to send spam, launch denial of service attacks, or perform other nefarious acts.

Some experts, however, doubted the sincerity of the apology. Many virus writers leave cryptic messages in their code to tease investigating authorities and to pat themselves on the back for their handiwork. "If he's really sorry, then why did he release it," said Michele Morelock, technical support leader at anti-virus software maker Sophos Inc. "I would imagine it's much more tongue-in-cheek than saying I'm really sorry for releasing it."

The MyDoom virus launched a denial-of-service attack early Sunday that crippled SCO Group's Web site with hundreds of thousands of requests, an SCO spokesman said. The attack is programmed to continue on the company's Web site until Feb. 12, according to messages left inside the virus' code.

But the spokesman said SCO will unveil a contingency plan Monday for customers to access the site. He declined to discuss those plans, citing hackers.

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