University in Guangdong Accused of Originating ‘Code Red’ Computer Worm

China News Digest, 5 September 2001

[CND, 09/05/01] US computer experts Friday said that the Code Red computer worm—which caused US$2.4 billion damage worldwide since July this year, was originated from the campus of Guangdong's Foshan University, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

Technicians at the university said that they did not have answers but had started checking computers and servers after foreign experts first made the accusations early last month. But so far they could not find anything usual except a few terminals were infected by Code Red worm, and most computers were shut down since middle July for the summer time.

In a US congressional testimony held Wednesday, a US congressional official said that the worm apparently originated at Foshan University.

SCMP cited Computer experts as saying that there was evidence that a server at Foshan University passed the Code Red worm to the US but emphasized that proving that the university had created—rather than just transmitted—the worm was almost impossible.

The earliest known source of the virus in the US was from Foshan University, said Michael Robinson, an independent computer consultant based in Beijing. But nobody knows for sure where it originated.

A foreign expert said It seems that the people at Foshan University aren't being very helpful in tracing this back. He added that if Foshan University was not the originator of the worm, it could help pinpoint its source. (Bo XIONG)