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BUSINESS TODAY

"MYDOOM' OUTRUNS "SOBIG': "Mydoom," the worst e-mail virus since the "SoBig" worm in August, has spawned a second strain, dubbed "Mydoom.B," that's programmed to attack Microsoft Corp.'s Web site. Mydoom.B spreads an e-mail attachment that, once activated, will send waves of information requests to the Microsoft Web site in an attempt to shut it down, said Tony Magallanez, an engineer with security softwaremaker F-Secure OYJ. The infection rate and planned timing of the attack are unclear, he said. Mydoom.B is circulating in e-mail at a much lower rate than the first version, said Brian Dunphy, a director at Symantec Corp. The extent of infection of the first Mydoom virus increased since Tuesday from about 16 percent of all e-mail messages to 20 percent or more.

TENET SELLING 27 HOSPITALS: Tenet Healthcare Corp. said Wednesday it is putting more than one-fourth of its hospitals up for sale in a major restructuring that includes a $1.4-billion charge against earnings in the fourth quarter. The nation's second largest for-profit hospital chain plans to sell 27 hospitals in California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri and Texas. It hopes to net $600-million and complete the sales by year's end. Tenet president and chief executive Trevor Fetter said a three-month review of the company's 96 hospitals, including 15 in the Miami area, prompted the restructuring.

LOCKHEED PAC INVESTIGATED: Federal elections officials will audit Lockheed Martin's political action committee after the defense contractor accused a former employee of embezzling $170,000 from the fund. For two years beginning in November 2001, the committee's assistant treasurer wrote himself checks and made it appear they had been sent to political candidates, Lockheed spokesman Tom Jurkowsky said Wednesday. Lockheed discovered the problem when the FEC called the employee's supervisor to report that inquiries it had made had gone unanswered. FEC spokesman George Smaragdis said the agency would pursue a civil case if it finds any wrongdoing.

AVENTIS REJECTS SANOFI'S B

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