January 29, 2004, 12:00 AM

A super virus could coincide with the Super Bowl, web experts warn

Although the Mydoom e-mail worm spread extremely fast on Monday, its impact on Internet traffic had lessened by Wednesday, experts say. But it still poses a major threat on Sunday, when it may trigger a massive blast of e-mail that could clog the web.

Although the Mydoom e-mail worm spread extremely fast on Monday and Tuesday, its impact on Internet traffic had lessened by Wednesday, experts say. But it still poses a major threat this Sunday, when it’s programmed to trigger a massive blast of e-mail that could clog the web.

“The Internet dealt admirably Wednesday with the effects of e-mail traffic generated by the MyDoom worm,” says a spokesman for Keynote Systems Inc., a company that monitors Internet performance. It said Internet traffic remained within a normal range Wednesday based on the web site performance it monitors in 40 major web sites in the Keynote Business 40 Internet Performance Index.

But Keynote cautioned that e-mail users should take extra precaution on Super Bowl Sunday to avoid opening e-mail attachments that are not from known sources, and to update virus-protection software, to guard against a pre-set MyDoom program intended to cause a large blast of e-mail.

“It could start spewing lots more traffic and trigger massive Internet congestion,” the Keynote spokesman says. Although the threat is not definite, he adds, the MyDoom worm is considered more sophisticated than earlier worms and viruses that have led to web congestion.

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