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New MyDoom offers 'how to' details

"It's like they wanted to help us, which is weird," one security expert says of the latest bizarre twist in the worm's development.

A new version of the Internet worm MyDoom includes a photo of suspected Netsky worm writer Sven Jaschan and a description of the worm itself.

In the latest bizarre twist in the worm's development, authors included a detailed account of what MyDoom.Y does and how it works. This particular tactic has left antivirus vendors baffled.

"It's like they wanted to help us, which is weird," said Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research at F-Secure. "The photo could be making the point that MyDoom has won the virus war. But then again, Netsky was much more widespread than MyDoom."

The description of the virus included two signatures, Nemog and Zincite, which Hyponnen said he had seen before in back-door code. "We don't know whether they have been planted or not," he said.

Jaschan, who was recently charged by German police for creating several variants of the Netsky virus, is believed to be responsible for 70 percent of the virus infections that plagued Internet users in 2004.

Several new versions of MyDoom have popped up recently, prompting speculation among security experts that worm writers may be trying to improve on the earlier design of the potent Internet interloper. One version even included an apparent job request.

Dan Ilett of ZDNet UK reported from London.