Zotob worm targeting some Windows operating systems

| 8/17/2005

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 operating systems.

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.