Microsoft hacked by Qaz worm?

October 27, 2000 Sophos Press Release

Hackers have reportedly gained access to Microsoft's computer systems by using a worm called W32/Qaz.

According to reports in the Wall Street Journal confidential commercial information may have been stolen from Microsoft and sent to an email address in St. Petersburg, Russia.

A Microsoft spokesman said "This is a deplorable act of industrial espionage and we will work to protect our intellectual property."

Microsoft says they have asked the FBI to investigate, and that their systems are now secure.

W32/Qaz, which was first seen in August 2000, allows hackers to take control of remote computers. Sophos Anti-Virus users who have kept their protection up-to-date are protected against this worm.

"Companies should take this incident as a warning that anyone can be affected by a virus or Trojan horse," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. "The way to reduce the risk is not only to use up-to-date anti-virus software, but also to educate staff to practice safe computing to reduce the chances of infection."