"The Blaster’ worm hits
Last week, tens of thousands of companies, government departments and home computer users across Europe, Asia and North America, including many local residents in Colorado, were hit by “The Blaster.”The Blaster is a worm: a type of malicious program that spreads itself from computer to computer over a network such as the Internet.Unlike a virus – which typically infects individual computers – a worm doesn’t require a program or file to latch onto to disseminate.The Blaster invades computers through a security loophole in the Windows operating system, which Microsoft warned customers about July 16.Many computer owners ignored the warning and have suffered. The high traffic at Microsoft’s Web site has more than once caused it to shut down over the past week, and tech supporters across the nation have been inundated with users who’ve gotten hit with the worm.In Denver, the worm crawled into Denver University’s computer labs. The university’s tech staff quickly isolated it before it could spread to other universities, but not before it infiltrated 500 DU machines.The worm also infected roughly 200 administrative computers at Denver International Airport. Locally, repair services worked late hours to get companies and home users back to working order.Jay Long, owner of The Computer Store in Frisco said, “It’s been a long, frustrating week.” Long also said one of the biggest problems he is seeing is that most of the computer users who’ve installed anti-virus software failed to update it over time.Worm DescriptionThe Blaster worm exploits vulnerability in Microsoft’s DCOM RPC interface. Upon execution, the worm attempts to retrieve a copy of the file msblast.exe from the compromising host.Once this file is retrieved, the compromised system then runs it and begins scanning for other vulnerable systems to compromise in the same manner.Systems Affectedn Microsoft Windows NT 4.0n Microsoft Windows 2000n Microsoft Windows Pn Microsoft Windows Server 2003We recommend visiting the following web site. The people at Microsoft have put together a list of helpful instructions to remove the worm. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/security/incident/blast.asp.We also advise readers to check some of the following links to help prevent problems in the future.For additional details on this worm from anti-virus software vendors participating in the Microsoft Virus Information Alliance (VIA) please visit the following links:n Network Associates:http://us.mcafee.com/virusInfo/default.asp?id=description&virus_k=100547n Trend Micro:http://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/virusencyclo/default5.asp?VName=WORM_MSBLAST.An Symantec:http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.blaster.worm.htmln Computer Associates:http://www3.ca.com/virusinfo/virus.aspx?ID=36265n For more information on Microsoft’s Virus Information Alliance please visit this link:http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/virus/via.aspn For details on cleanup tools from anti-virus software vendors participating in the Microsoft Virus Information Alliance (VIA) please visit the following links:n Network Associates:http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/n Trend Micro:http://www.trendmicro.com/download/tsc.aspn Symantec:http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.blaster.worm.removal.tool.htmln Computer Associates:http://www3.ca.com/solutions/collateral.asp?CT=27081&CID=48952For further assistance on eradicating The Blaster, or with preventing future infections, email email@example.com or stop by The Computer Store.
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