If you’re running Windows on your personal
computer it might be time to pay a visit to Microsoft’s security update Web
site – a newly discovered worm could severely cripple your computer.
The Zotob worm has primarily been affecting
the Windows 2000 and Windows XP Service Pack 1 operating systems, according to
media reports. The worm does not have an effect on earlier versions of Windows,
Windows XP Service Pack 2, or computers running the Macintosh or Linux
Microsoft released a patch on Aug. 9 that protects
against the worm. It can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms05-aug.mspx.
According to ZDNet,
the wormexploits a flaw in
computer operating systems’ plug-and-play installation system. A notation on
Microsoft’s Web site said the worm could allow the attacker to “take complete
control of the affected system … install programs; view, change or delete data;
or create new accounts with full user rights.”
There have been several rumors and reports of
computer shutdowns earlier this week at a number of high-profile companies and
organizations, including CNN, ABC News, the New York Times, DaimlerChrysler,
General Electric and Caterpillar, according to media reports. However, none of
the organizations have yet confirmed that the Zotob worm was the culprit.