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MSBlast echoes across the Net

special coverage The spread of the worm--which exploits perhaps the most widespread Windows flaw ever--continues even as individuals and businesses clean up their computers.

4 min read
MSBlast echoes across the Net
Worm exploits a widespread Windows vulnerability

The latest worm to torment Internet users underscores the limitations of getting patches in place.

In just 24 hours, "MSBlast" exploded onto some 120,000 computers around the world, in spite of what some experts say was a less-than-spectacular programming job. A big part of the problem was that inattentive home users, and overbooked IT staffs, hadn't been able to put a patch in place, even though Microsoft had made it available in July. The Web will be watching over the weekend to see if Microsoft can dodge a denial-of-service attack expected to be launched by the worm.

Network operators: Worm still squirming
Earlier reports that network traffic caused by the MSBlast worm dropped 30 percent to 40 percent may not mean that the worm is slowing, a major provider of network services says.
August 15, 2003

Microsoft kills Net address to foil worm
The software giant eliminates the Windowsupdate.com address that the self-propagating MSBlast worm was set to attack.
August 15, 2003

Squashing the next worm
Another worm, another epidemic. Can companies find ways to halt the spread of self-propagating code?
August 15, 2003

Cleanup dampens Blaster worm
The MSBlast worm's infection rate is slowing as people and businesses disinfect compromised computers, say antivirus companies--though not everyone agrees it's all over yet.
August 14, 2003

Microsoft prepares to be Blasted
The giant hopes to be ready when hundreds of thousands of computers infected with the MSBlast worm start pelting its Windows Update service with data requests on midnight Friday.
August 13, 2003

Users race against worm, variants
As the "MSBlast" worm spreads to about 2,500 new computers per hour, antivirus firms say a new variant has been released and that patching is crucial.
August 13, 2003

Slapdash monster roams the Net
The latest threat to hit the Internet is a compilation of programs cobbled together to do a single job: spread far and wide.
August 13, 2003

Worm's spread shows holes in patch system
"MSBlast" supports the view that patches, while necessary to increase the security of specific computers, can't be relied upon to protect large networks.
August 12, 2003

IT hustle mutes impact
The "MSBlast" worm is forcing information technology staffs to work overtime, but the damage to systems and networks seems to be somewhat contained, at least in the working world.
August 12, 2003

'MSBlast' widespread but slowing
update The worm infects as many as 120,000 computers in 24 hours, but its pace drops off because of poor programming, security researchers say Tuesday.
August 12, 2003

Viruses, hackers hit a third of Net users
Almost one in every three surfers in the United States has been hit by either a computer virus or a hacker in the past two years, a new survey says.
August 12, 2003

Here we go again
perspectives CNET News.com's Charles Cooper says that after two decades' worth of Swiss cheese software security, the world's biggest supplier of operating system software has run out of excuses.
August 12, 2003

Flaw in Windows worm tips off defenders
update The fast-spreading "MSBlast" worm seems to be crashing as many Windows computers as it's infecting--a sign that administrators need to patch their systems.
August 11, 2003

Windows worm starts its spread
A worm that takes advantage of what some security experts have called the most widespread Windows flaw ever has started spreading, fulfilling the predictions of many researchers.
August 11, 2003

previous coverage
Patchwork security
special report Software makers routinely release "fixes" designed to plug holes and reassure worried customers, but these antidotes are often ignored.
January 24, 2001

Waiting for the worm to turn up
reporter's notebook Security researchers gathered in Las Vegas for two hacking conferences are focusing on the Internet and whether a feared worm will appear.
August 1, 2003

Microsoft warns of critical Windows flaw
The software giant issues a patch to plug a critical security hole that could let an attacker take control of computers running almost any version of Windows.
July 16, 2003

How it works,
how to fix it

Because not everyone has patched their systems yet, the aggressive "MSBlast" worm--which rated a 7 on the CNET Virus Meter--continues to work its way around the Internet. For more information on the worm and to get the patch, go to one of these sites:

CNET Reviews (how the worm works)

CNET Reviews (how to remove the worm)

Windows Update

Microsoft Download Center

CNET's Download.com

Previous coverage

Worm masquerades as note from IT staff

Hackers huddle in the desert

Attack bot exploits Windows flaw

U.S. says Windows vulnerable to attack

Hacker code could unleash Windows worm

Code to exploit Cisco flaw may pose risk

Twin flaws have security pros worried

Sobig spawns a recipe for secret spam

IE flaw could unearth worm

IRC group decrypts Fizzer commands

Worms boost cyberattack stats for 2003

Code Red offshoot packs mild punch

Recent worms punish bad passwords

Deloder slowly worms its way on Net

Decoding the lessons of Slammer

LovGate.C worm's got a hold on PCs

'Slammer' attacks may become way of life for Net

Counting the cost of Slammer

Asia fingered as Slammer's birthplace

Worm exposes apathy, Microsoft flaws