The mi2g Intelligence Unit security group in London estimated Sunday that the Mydoom worm had caused $38.5 billion in economic damages worldwide, making it the most expensive computer virus ever. The SoBig virus was estimated to have caused $37.1 billion in damages.
D.K. Matai, executive chairman of mi2g, said the success of Mydoom, despite a week's worth of advance knowledge and the involvement of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in issuing virus alerts, showed how easily a genuine cyber-terror hostile attack could be launched and sustained.
Microsoft and SCO have each offered a $250,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the Mydoom author. The companies also are assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service in their investigation of the virus. Interpol, an international police organization, is also investigating.
Some Internet observers have speculated that SCO was the target of Mydoom because of company's legal challenge of the open-source operating system Linux, which the company claims contains its copyrighted code. SCO's lawsuits have angered the Linux community and its supporters.
However, members of the Linux community have denied involvement, claiming someone may be trying to discredit the group's work.