RIAA site disabled for five days

Internet watcher Netcraft attributes the outage to a variant of the MyDoom computer worm.

As the Recording Industry Association of America continues its push to shut down digital pirates, the industry group suffered its own defeat online.

According to data from Internet watcher Netcraft, the trade group's site has not been reachable for nearly five days. The Internet performance measurement company believes that the root of the outage is a variant of the MyDoom computer worm.

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"The current outage now exceeds the RIAA site's four-day outage in July 2002, which was attributed to a DDoS," or distributed denial-of-service, attack, Netcraft said Monday on its Web site.

The MyDoom mass-mailing variant started spreading in February through e-mail, infecting Windows computers whenever people clicked on the attached file. The number of computers infected by the virus is unknown. The program has been causing compromised systems to attack Microsoft's and the RIAA's sites between March 17 to March 22.

The RIAA refused to comment on the outage, except to confirm that the site is currently inaccessible. The group would not specify how long the outage has lasted.

Microsoft's Web site remains up. The software giant could not immediately be reached for comment.

Previous versions of the MyDoom computer virus attempted to inundate Microsoft's Web site and 's site. Unix seller SCO has claimed rights to code contained in the Linux kernel.

The attacks are expected to subside by Tuesday, and access to the RIAA Web site likely would be restored at that time.