NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Google stranded some Web surfers Monday, unable to meet visitors' requests for hours because of an Internet worm, a spokesman for the Internet search engine told CNN/Money.
Google.com, the nation's leading search engine, said some search requests may have come up short on Monday, the day it set the price range for its initial public offering, when an Internet virus called MyDoom 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," said David Krane, a spokesperson for Google. "At no point was the Google Web site significantly impaired, and service for all users and networks is expected to be restored shortly."
But the problem did not only affect Google. According to Keynote Systems Inc., an Internet performance tracking firm, Web site performance slowed broadly, suggesting the possibility that a virus or other Internet attack may be causing problems.
"We are starting to see things creep up," said Della Lowe, a spokeswoman for Keynote. "It could be an indication that something is impacting the Internet overall. We are certainly looking into it and also looking into the possibility of some sort of attack."
The Keynote report comes as outages on the search site Google.com were reported in the United States, France and Great Britain, though in many places the site was said to be working normally.
The SANS Institute, an online source for Internet security training and an information security research repository, released an article Monday afternoon confirming that the latest version of the MyDoom virus was behind Google's problems.
The virus, which started arriving in mailboxes Monday, uses search engines to find more recipients for its message, according to SANS.
Once the virus starts, it searches the user's files for domain names. Then it uses search engines to find valid e-mail addresses within these domains, said the article, adding that Lycos, Google, Altavista and Yahoo! (YHOO: Research, Estimates) are all possible MyDoom targets.
-- from staff and wire reports