Another example of how Microsoft can just make a blogger’s day.  

Microsoft issued a statement on Zotob last night.

“There are currently a number of press reports regarding an Internet worm called Zotob. News reports had indicated that there was potentially a new worm. We are not aware at this time of a new attack; instead our analysis has revealed that the reported worms are different variations of the existing attack called Zotob. Microsoft has reviewed the situation and continues to rate the issue as a low threat for customers…Zotob has thus far had a low rate of infection. Zotob only targets Windows 2000. Customers running other versions such as Windows XP, or customers who have applied the MS05-039 update to Windows 2000 are not impacted by this attack.”

Windows uber-guru Paul Thurrott at Windows IT Pro lashes out: “This statement bears little comfort for companies such as ABC, Caterpillar Company, CNN, Daimler Chrysler, “The Financial Times,”  Kraft Foods, “The New York Times,” San Francisco International Airport, SBC Communications, United Parcel Service (UPS), and The Walt Disney Company, all of which suffered computer crashes, downtime, and repeated reboots because of the worm attacks. According to reports, at least six separate worms have exploited Microsoft’s recently revealed flaws.”

He goes on to make this point: “…Only Win2K, eh? According to AssetMatrix, Win2K is the most-often used Windows version in medium- and large-sized corporations, edging out XP 48 percent to 37 percent. Put another way, roughly half of all Windows installations in corporations are Win2K”

Zotob is not light stuff.  It is hitting companies.  While someone could say that system administrators out there should have taken steps to patch their systems earlier, many of these IT professionals are harried souls dealing with meager budgets and lack of resources. 

I respect Microsoft for having patched this thing, but judging from the current emotional level on the ‘net, the PR team at Wagged might put in a dash more compassion in Microsoft’s statements on Zotob.

Alex Eckelberry