Sobig Virus Causes Big Network Headache


The latest in an onslaught of Internet viruses is hitting cable operators
this week, this time clogging corporate electronic-mail accounts before
spreading to consumer networks.

The "Sobig" variant, dubbed "W32/SoBig.F," began circulating Monday. It
hijacks user e-mail accounts, sending out copies of itself to addresses in the
victim’s address books. The result is a deluge of spam e-mail, causing networks
to slow.

Adelphia Communications Corp. has seen slowdowns on its network as the highly
contagious virus works its way across the Web, according to spokesman Paul
Jacobson. While Adelphia’s network-operations technicians have been working to
install filters to protect the network, the problem lies in the constant

"Of course, the problem they have encountered -- along with other corporate
and government entities, as well as individual computer users and other service
providers -- is that these viruses are changing and mutating, and a new one
seems to be popping up every day," he said. "So we’re working as fast as we can
to protect our network, like so many others are, but it is no doubt causing some

While the slowdown has hit various Adelphia systems, it appears that Los
Angeles has been particularly hard-hit, Jacobson said. "They are working right
now to try to get that situation under control," he added.

Jacobson noted that customer education is a critical defense, so Adelphia has
already circulated two e-mail alerts to its "PowerLink" customers, "and we are
probably in the process of getting them another update," he said.

"We’ve also placed links on the major Web pages where our customers might
turn for information that steers them to updated information and solutions," he

"It’s hard to predict when service might be restored to customary levels
until we -- along with tens of thousands, if not millions, of users -- are able
to get a handle on this," Jacobson said.

The Sobig virus is the fourth major infestation to hit the Internet in one
week, starting with the "MS Blaster" worm targeting Microsoft Corp. "Windows"
operating systems and a later mutation, "W32/Nachi."