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Wed 5 May 2004 04:00 AM

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Worm still has plenty of sass

The Sasser worm is still active, with variants spreading rapidly across the internet, security firms are warning this week.

The Sasser worm is still active, with variants spreading rapidly across the internet, security firms are warning this week.

The latest variant, Sasser.D started spreading Monday, as many countries in Europe took a May Day holiday. Experts are warning that many users will have come back to work to face infected machines. Sasser has caused chaos already across the Middle East. For instance, Dubai International Airport services suffered massive disruption on Sunday.

The Sasser worm exploits vulnerabilities in Windows announced by Microsoft on 13 April 2004. Analyst firm Gartner points out that the appearance of the worm marks the shortest time period ever between announcement of a vulnerability and the beginning of an attack: just 18 days.

Sasser highlights the need for firms to invest in intrusion protection, Gartner says in an advisory. “Many of the vulnerabilities that continue to be identified in Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003 are easily exploitable; attackers will continue to develop worms that will cause damage equal to, or more sever than, the system shutdowns and network congestion caused by the Slammer worm,” the firm said. “Enterprises that are dependent on Windows systems must invest both in means to patch faster and in host-based intrusion prevention systems for all Windows PCs and servers.”

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