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Tech Alert Briefing for 08/17/2003

Worm came in with a blast, goes out with a whimper
New Risk Posed by a Blaster Email Hoax


Virus experts reported that over 400,000 computers were infected with the Blaster Worm unleashed more than a week ago. The worm was set to detonate a second blast beginning on August 15 and continuing throughout the weekend. Microsoft, however, claimed victory over the worm, announcing it foiled its attempt to shut down the Windows Update site.

Microsoft's latest announcement did little to comfort the hundreds of thousands of businesses, personal computer users and network administrators who spent hours of lost productivity cleaning up the worms' mess. Now, an email hoax has been socially engineered to take advantage of unsuspecting computer users by deceiving them into downloading a new variant of worm .

Over the weekend, MessageLabs' VirusEye reported a new variant of the worm circulating as an email attachment reportedly spoofing thewebmaster@microsoft.com email address.The body of the message informs the user that Microsoft is currently investigating the W32.Blaster.Worm and urges the users to download the attached program to fix the problem.

Microsoft has responded by saying that the email is a hoax.Microsoft has updated its information on the Blaster worm and further stated it never distributes software directly via e-mail.

Read our related story:
What the Blaster Worm Teaches Us

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First published on 08/16/2003

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