Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Worm Exploiting Microsoft Hole

A nasty new Internet worm is taking advantage of a five-day-old flaw in most recent versions of Windows. This is the same flaw Security Fix warned readers to hurry up and patch using an update Microsoft  released on Tuesday.

The worm, dubbed Zotob, is based on the well-documented Mytob family of worms, most of which were designed to turn infected computers into "zombies" that attackers can use to send spam, install spyware, attack others online and harvest the victim's personal information.

Many Internet service providers now block traffic like that generated by the Zotob worm, so it probably will not spread nearly as fast or as disruptively as it would have a year or two ago. Nevertheless, if you do not have the most recent Windows patches installed, now would be an excellent time to pay a visit to Microsoft Update and install all of the fixes it says your computer needs.

By Brian Krebs  |  August 14, 2005; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  Latest Warnings  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Patch Now or Else
Next: A Billion-Dollar Boondoggle?


Reporters these days!! You guys really embarrass yourselves sometimes.

You call this a "five-day-old flaw", when the "five-day-old" bit just refers to the time when MS confessed publicly to its presence.

Just to "clue you in", as we can all see you need one, the actual *FLAW* has existed since the program was written, quite likely since "day one", literally! The *ANNOUNCEMENT* of a bug is not the *INCEPTION* of that bug. Wake up, smell the coffee, enroll in a logic course in your local college! If you introduce me to your 20-year-old daughter, would you expect me to say "goo-goo, gaa-gaa" to her and try to change her diaper??

Here's a story line for you: If you look, you'll find where MS's own "secure servers" were broken into a few years ago. This was the time (there are so many) when MS confessed that ALL their source code was downloaded to an unknown site in Russia somewhere (or were they just engaging in a little antiquated Red Bashing??).

You will please take note, that MS admitted that some unknown person or persons has/have a copy of all the source code for MS products. All these "new" exploits are laid bare for any who "speak the language" and have a compiler.

So why don't you do a follow-up on the fact that even MS admits there are a lot of eyes out there looking at the intricate details of their products -- some scanning for ways to integrate useful software, of course -- but some others looking for ways to do bad things. Now that MS has failed to keep their own servers secure, all one (or the other) need do is look.

Posted by: 5-Day-Old Suzerain | August 15, 2005 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Only certain parts of the Windows source code was stolen. A large portion of the NT4 source was stolen, as well as about 15% of Windows 2000 source. The Windows 2000 source was from July of 2000, so it was quite old. No XP or 2003 source was taken. A quick google search would have easily given you this information if you had bothered.

The risk from this theft was quite low. I can guarantee you that this latest worm is not the result of someone looking at stolen code.

Posted by: Matt | August 15, 2005 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Nice talk, Suzerain. You could have said the same thing without sounding like such a jackass.

Posted by: Stephen | August 15, 2005 11:19 AM | Report abuse

*yawn* another exploit

Posted by: h4ckd | August 15, 2005 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Can someone please tell me why I'm still running Microsoft

Posted by: lol | August 15, 2005 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Why do the 'hackers' get the blame for exposing an exploit? MS should be held liable. The 'hackers' should be praised for pointing out MS's shortfalls.

Posted by: xan | August 15, 2005 7:13 PM | Report abuse

What a brilliant argument. Why don't we congratulate the burgler who breaks into your house because your security system was left off. After all, if you are dumb enough to forget to arm it, you deserve to be robbed, right?

Repeat after me: all software has bugs. Windows, Linux, Mac, Firefox, everything. The only difference is that most operate under the premise of security through obscurity. Which isn't security at all.

Posted by: Matt | August 15, 2005 7:33 PM | Report abuse

It isn't that you forgot to arm your home security system, it's that the security system manufacturer deliberately incorporated unprotected back doors so that it could come in later without you knowing it, snoop around, find out your "preferences", see if you are using the alarm system in any additional rooms without paying for those rooms, etc. Each time a burgler discovers one of these unprotected back doors and uses it to rob you or trash your home, it is somehow your fault for not modifying the alarm system to eliminate the one particular back door that the security system company thinks burglers will discover next week.

Posted by: jay | August 17, 2005 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Microsoft should release a version of Windows that requires you to run Update every time you boot up. If you don't install any critical fixes that Update finds, Windows will shut down the system.

Alternatively, I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

Posted by: Danny | August 17, 2005 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Mac's are looking better all the time.

Posted by: Chris | August 17, 2005 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I think by the time you've added ~80-million (not a real estimate) features into something, its bound to have some flaws in it, unfortunately. I think people should just chill out a bit, especially Suzy-rain. When you type with *WORDS* surrounded by *ASTERISKS*, it makes people uneasy. Also, the exclamation marks make you sound really pent up, like Microsoft came and ran over your dog, and you're vague knowledge of events that you use to support your argument are barely valid....
but I digress...
Software has bugs/exploits. Anything big made by multiple people is going to have issues. Most of which get fixed before release.

Posted by: BobDole | August 17, 2005 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Can someone explain the logic (?) of putting posts in reverse order so you must read from the bottom up, then putting the 'post a comment' box at the bottom?

(prefer to read books chapter 1, chapter 2, etc & not have to flip to the back of the book to do it)

Posted by: Charlie | August 17, 2005 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Where is the post by Miss Suzerain?

If people would simply NOT logon to their systems as a local administrator or an equivalent, many of the actions that this and other worms try to perform would fail.

Posted by: Sendai | August 17, 2005 1:12 PM | Report abuse

When you say "most recent versions of Windows" do you mean xp ? Window update sez only it infects windows 2000.
It confusing ,why do you no state what versions of windows you are writing about?
Specifics not generalities make a good writers!

Rob Write

Posted by: Rob Write | August 17, 2005 4:13 PM | Report abuse


In answer to your question, the worms infected Windows 2000 machines, but they can be transmitted via Windows XP

Posted by: Joe | August 17, 2005 4:32 PM | Report abuse

When will this brat Bill Gates be taken to court for the damage he has been causing all these year because of faulty code that Microsoft has been producing since the put their first operating system on the market.
Compters I have had since the early 80ies only worked problem free, when there was no Microsoft product on them.
That man, Bill Gates, p... me off just when I see him and is an icarnation of an ugly capitalist who just makes money using all dirty tricks available instead of doing proper work and providing proper products.

Posted by: wdk | August 17, 2005 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Why do folks not just switch to Apple's Macs and avoid all this hassle. No known worm or virus has evern infected Apple's OS X operating system. I never lose data, never crash and never reboot. I use no firewall other than what comes on every Mac, and I use no security software, never have. I am logged on the the Web 24 hours a day on several computers as several users.

We do get security patches on occasion on holes that COULD BE exploited someday maybe. But no such holes ever HAVE BEEN exploited.

Posted by: Roger Mercer | August 18, 2005 11:32 AM | Report abuse


a) I'm a gamer, and PCs have far more games available than Macs
b) I'm a freelance programmer, and more people use PCs, so I'm more likely to sell stuff if I develop for the PC; and there also seem to be more development toolkits available for the PC

If I was a designer or worked in the production department of a newspaper, then, sure, I'd use a Mac.

Posted by: Danny | August 19, 2005 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Very good site, congratulations! e mail automatic responder

Posted by: autoresponder | April 20, 2006 9:40 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company