What Was Blaster Worm W32 and the Security Concerns it Raised

The famous virus which hit the whole IT industry was first noticed on August 11 2003. This virus posed a threat to the entire Microsoft Windows Desktop operating systems like Windows Xp and Windows 2000. In a month after it was noticed the Worm had spread like a wild fire involving lot of home users. The chaos gripped the entire Desktop users and they ran for Microsoft help and tech support.

This worm was targeted to attack the Windows update site and Microsoft taking immediate note shut down most of its servers for windows update site. The port attacked by this Worm was port 80. This virus had strings and messages attached to it which were a clear warning to Microsoft chairman

Bill Gates. Till the time any Antivirus or Microsoft could release a patch people were calling help lines. All the help lines had a call answering time of around 90 minutes. Hp support, Dell support, Microsoft support and third party tech support companies were already running short of manpower to answer the queries of the affected customers.

This worm used to attack a computer by shutting down some of the critical Microsoft services which in turn would shut down the computer. The Windows services affected were RPC (Remote Procedure Call). The mode of failure of this service enabled a computer to shut down. A very common message was displayed on all the affected computers.

This system is shutting down. Please save all work in progress and log off. Any unsaved changes will be lost. This shutdown was initiated by NT AUTHORITYSYSTEM

Time before shutdown: 00:60


Windows must now restart because the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Service terminated unexpectedly.

In the initial days of its release the tech support engineers had no clue as to how they would fix the issues pertaining to the Blaster. But later certain mechanism was developed which would prevent the shutting down of computer.

Later Norton and Microsoft research and development came out with certain steps to prevent the virus shutting down the computer. These steps included disabling the mode of service failure to take no action instead of restarting the computer. Microsoft support, HP support, Dell support and third party tech support vendors directed the customer to the Microsoft website to download the removal tool or Norton website for the removal tool.

Online microsoft help, windows help also provided steps to remove the virus. But till the time the tool was developed Windows XP operating system was already in danger because of its security concerns. Later Service pack 2 release fixed most of the concerns of the end-users.

The person who developed and deployed the virus was later tracked as Jeffrey Lee Parson an 18 yr old boy from Hopkins U.S who was later sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment.

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