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Update re: computer worm. Windows Users, Please Read!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Like sharp-shooters armed and ready to fire, hundreds of thousands of computers are poised to let fly a potentially crippling data attack on a lone Web site belonging to software giant Microsoft Corp.

Starting Saturday, August 16, each computer infected by the "MSBlaster" or "LoveSAN" Internet worm will begin sending packets of data several times per second to the Microsoft site in an attempt to knock it offline.

The targeted Web site is windowsupdate.microsoft.com, the site Microsoft uses to distribute updates of its Windows operating system that runs an overwhelming majority of the world's computers.

Blaster has been spreading across the Internet since Monday. Security experts in Europe Wednesday reported that the worm, which targets computers running on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT and Server 2003 software, was still infecting machines, though at a slower rate.

But the clean-up is far from over.

"Most (IT technicians) today are trying to determine what will be the impact to their systems when this attack is scheduled to go off," said Mikko Hypponen, manager of anti-virus research for Finnish computer security firm F-Secure.

Home and corporate users hit
Blaster has hit both home and corporate users, making an accurate toll of infected computers difficult to measure. But computer experts following the worm's progress estimated it had infiltrated hundreds of thousands of machines around the world.

The worm, which spreads via an ordinary Internet connection, was described by various network security specialists as a "ticking bomb," though there was much debate over whether it would be a boomer or a dud.

With such a coordinated volley of data timed to deluge a single site, it leaves the overall Internet susceptible to slowdowns, though many security professionals were playing down that scenario Wednesday.

A shutdown of the Windows "update" site, the only place to fortify a computer against Blaster, is more likely, they said.

"It's a game of beat the clock," said Raimund Genes, European president of security firm Trend Micro. "People will be working overtime to patch their systems before Saturday to get rid of Blaster."

The worm can be eradicated by downloading the patch off www.windowsupdate.com and re-booting the machine. Microsoft said the worm may cause systems to crash at first, but did not damage the victim's computer.

Gussipekka Pispa, director of information technology at Finland's Tampere University of Technology, told Reuters he and his team were working around the clock to check hundreds of computer servers for signs of a Blaster infestation.

Should the computers start firing data requests at the Microsoft site Saturday, it could bog down the university's network. "It's a big job," Pispa said.

from CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/interne...eut/index.html
post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 
It does not look like this affects Windows 98, Windows 95 or Windows ME. Just the ones based on the Windows NT platform (which includes XP).
post #3 of 22
I downloaded my patch, last night and checked for problems. So far, so good.

I heard on the news that this worm totally shut down the Maryland Dept. of Motor Vehicles, today. Glad that it didn't hit AZ's - I had business there, today.
post #4 of 22
My hubby says we are clean, he recentky installed a virus scanner. I may just shut off the computer for the day and unhook the cable.

I may have a riot on my hands though... a whole day without the computer? No "Cat Site", No email?? No mind numbing info?!?!?!?

Well, we will see.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
It hit the company I work for. Reports are due in to them tomorrow from field workers (like me) and most of our laptops are also infected. So we're going to be playing it by ear, should be interesting, to say the very least...
post #6 of 22
I think my next pc will be a Mac.
post #7 of 22
Originally posted by Mom of 10 Cats
It does not look like this affects Windows 98, Windows 95 or Windows ME. Just the ones based on the Windows NT platform (which includes XP).
That is a correct assessment.
post #8 of 22
This virus was not spread through email. So your virus checker on email will NOT have caught it. A virus checker will scan incoming email for viruses attached, and as long as you keep your virus definitions up to date, you will be fine for most of the others out there.

However, this virus was spread directly through the internet, once your connection to your server was established, the hackers were able to get into your computer files and place the virus there, without the step of having it downloaded from an email. So a traditional virus checker would not necessarily find it and stop it.

However, if you do a virus definition update, and do a full scan of your computer, you should be fine.

I am hoping that my new firewall will prevent further incidents like this. My firewall should also prevent unusual email messages from going out. That is, if I have configured it properly.

Now, my only question remaining seems to be answered here. I downloaded the patch from Microsoft. Does that mean that the virus was cleaned up for me? I did a virus scan and it found nothing, but I am still not really confident that I am fine. Although the computer seems to be running fine now.
post #9 of 22
Hubby did the scan last night, looks like were clean. My work is probably infected though, we get every virus out there here.
post #10 of 22
I have my anti-virus software scan daily and every time my computer restarts. It takes longer for the PC to start up but it's worth it.
post #11 of 22
Mac's can get hit too. The only "virus-free" OS is Unix, but even then there are security breaches that can causes problems. As long as there are people who want to corrupt things, computers will never be free of issues like this.
post #12 of 22
---------------> her Mac!

Awesome machine! I have the iMac -- dad got it for me for Christmas. That thing never crashes, doesn't hang on me, etc.

Originally posted by nighteyes
I think my next pc will be a Mac.
post #13 of 22
Ok, I need help. I downloaded the patch 3 days ago. Then I did a virus scan ,and it detected that I have lovesan/blaster on my c drive. So I tried to clean it, and it said it was un-cleanable.

So, I went to Symantic and downloaded the tool to have it cleaned. I did the scan, and it said there was no virus there! Isnt' that weird? Where did it go??

post #14 of 22
dtolle-because you downloaded the tool to clean the virus, it's now gone, and your computer is safe.

I downloaded the update patch from Microsoft, plus added a firewall, and downloaded the latest Virus Scan update, then I scanned my entire computer. It said I have no virus' files on my computer, so I'm pretty sure I'm safe, too.
post #15 of 22
Tell me about that! I just bought a brand new laptop last week and on Monday, my internet started giving me problems and would shut my laptop down whenever I got online!

After I described to my friend Eric who is very knowledgable about computers the symptoms I was having, he said I got this virus!
Poor Eric came over last nite and stayed from 7 pm to around 10 30 trying to download the patch. The problem was that every time he'd try to get online to download the patch, the bug would shut my laptop down before the download was completed. He reformatted my laptop TWO TIMES and each time he would get online to download the patch, my laptop got the worm back!! He said obviously the node I'm connected to is infected with this.

This morning, he worked from 8 am to around NOON and now says he THINKS he has it fixed.

ALL of you- PLS PLS PLS update ur virus scanning and prevent this!! I don't want u all going crazy like I did! Grin..
post #16 of 22
Also, get a Fire Wall, so that they can't get to your computer in the first place.
post #17 of 22
A firewall helps a lot - I have the Norton Firewall, and I'm staying very aware of this virus - might unplug the puter that day so no one can touch it.

I would love to slap that hacker silly!
post #18 of 22
If you have updated Virus Protection and a Firewall, you shouldn't have to worry. I would think you'd be safe to get on the net.
post #19 of 22
You know, you would think some people have too much time on their hands doing things like this!

You think I will be safe with the firewall on? I'm a little nervous
post #20 of 22
Kiwideus - I would think you would be safe. I mean they have been spreading that virus for the last few days or so, and from my understanding they are not attacking regular computer users on Saturday, they are planning to attack Microsoft, thru the computers they have already infected.

All I know, is that my firewall keeps giving me warnings when anyone is trying to invade or see in my computer, and it always blocks them.
post #21 of 22
everyone that said it is right in respect of this damned thing playing up - only certain users- XP mainly are infected and its not a virus at all.

A lot of people have had problems in the way that it takes over a minute sometimes to get to microsoft site before it crashes their system - therefore, the following is a link that helps.

download patch site


I strongly recommend Hope's zone alarm and have updated AVG- I am hoping to have Norton proffessional 2003 by monday this week coming to keep mine up to date.

I have heard stories here in the @a@L(P’=@«b!¢
post #22 of 22
For those of you using Zone Alarm, I was told to put the settings on high. I have a cable connection and it does not impede whatever I am doing.
I checked my log and there have been over 1.000.00 alerts in the last two days.
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