Microsoft blasts the worm

Microsoft is encouraging its customers to go directly to the Microsoft Security site and follow a step-by-step guide to help ensure they try to protect themselves from the current W32.Blaster worm.

To help ensure its customers try to protect themselves from becoming infected by the current W32.Blaster worm, Microsoft is encouraging them to go directly to the <a href=’http://www.microsoft.com/security’>Microsoft Security</a> site and follow a step-by-step guide.

Those steps include using a firewall, such as Internet Connection Firewall in Windows XP, updating a computer with the latest patches, turning on ‘AutoUpdate’ to simplify the process of installing future updates as well as installing, using and updating anti-virus software.

Blaster may affect several versions of the Windows operating system, including Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows NT and Windows Server 2003.

If you are using one of those operating systems, and haven’t downloaded and installed a software patch from Microsoft’s Web site, your computer may be affected.

The Blaster worm can potentially impact users in two ways. First, it may cause infected PCs to repeatedly crash. Second, it could potentially use infected machines to try to launch a Denial of Service attack on Microsoft’s Windowsupdate.com on August 16. This anticipated attack might cause the Web site to run slowly or be inaccessible to customers.

Microsoft says that it is currently taking steps to try to ensure that Windows Update remains fully available. In the event of any disruption, customers can continue to access and download the patch by going directly to the Microsoft security site.