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Google says MyDoom virus caused problems
Computing and Information Technology

(CNN) -- The No. 1 Internet search engine on Monday was unable to provide search results to a number of Web surfers, probably because of a variant of the MyDoom virus.

Users of other popular search engines such as Yahoo and Lycos may also have experienced some sluggish behavior.

Google released a statement to CNN at 3 p.m. ET saying the site "experienced slowness for a short period of time early today because of the MyDoom virus, which flooded major search engines with automated searches.

"A small percentage of our users and networks that have the MyDoom virus have been affected for a longer period of time. At no point was the Google Web site significantly impaired, and service for all users and networks is expected to be restored shortly."

According to several media accounts, the problem began about 11:30 a.m. ET, and by 3 p.m. the site seemed to be running smoothly again.

The SANS Institute and other security firms issued a release shortly after the problem was detected saying a new variant of the MyDoom virus could be to blame. The latest incarnation of the troublesome virus uses search engines on infected computers to look for more e-mail addresses in order to keep replicating itself.

Experts contacted by CNN were unable to determine the exact magnitude of the problem.

Some users across the United States reported no trouble with Google or other search engines.

For other people, although the main Google page was able to load, they reported seeing a "server error" message when trying to conduct a search.

Google also announced details of its initial public offering Monday, with share prices of between $108 and $135. Experts consider those figures to be very high, leading some observers to initially speculate that Google was the victim of a vindictive hacker attack.

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