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03 May 2004

Sasser worm disrupts Taiwan's national post office, Sophos comments

The vulnerability exploited by the Sasser worm has been described by Microsoft as critical
The vulnerability exploited by the Sasser worm has been described by Microsoft as critical

Media reports from Taipei have confirmed that a third of the offices of Taiwan's state-run post office have had their operations seriously affected by the Sasser internet worm.

Some 1600 workstations, 300 of them in the greater Taipei area, were hit by the virus today. According to an official the company had to result to manual processes as their computer systems were paralysed.

Local television coverage showed customers queuing in long lines at many of the post offices, as service slowed down.

"Sasser has hit unprotected computers hard and fast," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "This internet attack is a timely reminder for all businesses and computer users to ensure their computers are properly secured and protected."

The security vulnerability exploited by the Sasser worm was first patched by Microsoft on 13 April 2004 in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-011.

Sophos recommends that every IT manager responsible for security should consider subscribing to vulnerability mailing lists such as that operated by Microsoft at www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/notify.mspx .

Home users of Microsoft Windows can visit windowsupdate.microsoft.com to have their systems scanned for critical Microsoft security vulnerabilities.

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.