August 15, 2005

New Internet worm affects Windows users – Trend Micro

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A new Internet virus has been
detected that can infect Microsoft's Windows platforms faster
than previous computer worms, said an anti-virus computer
software maker.

The ZOTOB virus appeared shortly after the world's largest
software maker warned of three newly found "critical" security
flaws in its software, including one that could allow attackers
to take complete control of a computer.

The latest worm exploits security holes in Microsoft's
Windows 95, 98, ME, NE, 2000 and XP platforms and can give
computer attackers remote access to affected systems, said
Trend Micro Inc..

"Hundreds of infection reports were sighted in the United
States and Germany," Tokyo-based Trend Micro said in a
statement released late last week.

"Since most users may not be aware of this newly announced
security hole so as to install the necessary patch during last
weekend, we can foresee more infections from WORM_ZOTOB," it

The latest virus drops a copy of itself into the Windows
system folder as BOTZOR.EXE and modifies the system's host file
in the infected user's computer to prevent the user getting
online assistance from antivirus web sites, Trend Micro added.

It can also connect to a specific Internet relay chat
server and give hackers remote control over affected systems,
which can be used to infect other unpatched machines in a
network and slow down the network performance.

Last Tuesday, Microsoft issued patches to fix its security
flaws as part of its monthly security bulletin. The problems
affect the Windows operating system and Microsoft's Internet
Explorer Web browser.

Microsoft has warned that an attacker could exploit a
vulnerability in its Internet Explorer Web browser and lure
users to malicious Web pages, and could run a software code on
the user's PC giving the attacker control of the affected

Computer users should update their anti-virus pattern files
and apply the latest Microsoft patches to protect their
computer systems, Trend Micro said.

More than 90 percent of the world's PCs run on the Windows
operating system and Microsoft has been working to improve the
security and reliability of its software.