Net Xpress: Worm made last week 'the worst virus week ever'

August 24, 2003|SHEILA J. CLARK

Computer owners and businesses were barely given a chance to recover from the previous MSBlast worm before being attacked with yet another worm. The new worm gave last week the title of "the worst virus week ever" by being the fourth worm to wreak havoc for computer users within a single week's span.

The new mass e-mail worm, dubbed Sobig.F@mm, which attempts to download files from the Internet and leave computers vulnerable to future attack, quickly was spreading around the world at the end of last week.

The worm arrives as an e-mail attachment with various subject lines including "Your Details," "Thank You," "Your Application" and "Wicked Screensaver." It will affect all systems running the following versions of Windows 95/98/NT/ ME/2000/XP. Not only is the worm e-mail aware, but it is also network aware, meaning it can spread quickly throughout a network connection after infecting a single system.

Traffic caused by the spread of this worm has become so intense that several e-mail servers have been flooded to overload and ended up having to be temporarily shut down.


A strange twist is that this worm actually deactivates itself on Sept. 10, so the last day the worm will spread is on Sept. 9. Even so, computer users should still take precautions to make sure to get protection for your system for future variants of the worm.

Read more about the W32.Sobig.F@mm worm at

A removal tool for the worm is located at

Net buzzz

* Microsoft released a cumulative patch for three new flaws found in its Internet Explorer browser combined with patches for recently discovered critical vulnerabilities. Read more at Note: Don't forget to patch your system after reading. Remember, this is a critical patch!

* In other Microsoft news, starting Oct. 15, the company is forcing users of its MSN Messenger service to upgrade their clients to version 5.0, Windows Messengers customers must upgrade to version 4.7.2009 or higher and MSN Messenger for Mac OS X users must upgrade to version 3.5 or higher. If the users fail to upgrade, they will not be able to access the service.

The latest version of MSN Messenger released is version 6. After the Oct. 15 deadline, MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger users will also no longer be able to access their MSN buddy lists via Trillian. Note: Trillian is an instant message client that allows a users to use various IM services via a single client.

MSN Live online events

Aug. 25: Chat with "Animal House's" Flounder, actor Stephen Furst, at 7 p.m. Go to; actress Hilary Duff of "Lizzie McGuire" chats at 8 p.m. Go to

Aug. 26: Chat with Hip Hop diva Mary J. Blige at 1 p.m. Go to; Chat with R&B group 112 at 8 p.m. Go to Chat with "Jeepers Creepers 2" actresses Marieh Delfino and Nicki Lynn Aycox at 8:30 p.m. Go to

Sites to see

* August is National Inventors Month. Learn more about the celebration at The site features a link to A to Z Inventions and to other related invention sites.

E-mail me at; fax me at (859)236-9566; or write me snail-mail at The Advocate-Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Danville, KY 40423-0149.

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