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Viruses Search For Infected Computers

There's an Internet war raging, and the spoils are virus-infected computers.

The Internet has become a cornucopia of riches for hackers and tech-savvy spammers trying to exploit the "backdoor" installed in more than half a million computers infected by last month's MyDoom virus, experts said Thursday. While many of those PCs have been cleansed of the malicious code, tens of thousands of others remain ripe for the picking.

Security firm iDefense Inc. has identified a half dozen separate viruses searching the web for MyDoom-infected computers.

"There are a lot of attackers out there attempting to hijack these computers and take ownership of them," Ken Dunham, director of malicious code for iDefense, said. "There's a flurry of activity in the underground."

The new viruses attempt to enter computers through the same hole created by MyDoom, remove the original virus, close the opening and install their own program allowing a hacker or spammer to commandeer the machine.

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