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The Blaster worm failed to knock Microsoft's Web site over this weekend, with an attack programmed to swamp Windows Update with useless traffic missing the mark.

Unknown coders programmed Blaster to attack Windows Update's windowsupdate.com site via a referring address, which Microsoft has since pulled. In the event, the attack, which was timed to begin on 16 August, was easily sidestepped. The normal referring address of Windows Update is windowsupdate.microsoft.com. This site itself redirects to another site.

The more substantive problem remains, however. The worm is still spreading, so there's no room for complacency.

Secondary risks are rearing their ugly head with virus writers trying to capitalise on the publicity generated by Blaster to fool people into installing Trojan code that pose as Blaster patches.

Users should be reminded that Microsoft NEVER sends out software updates by email precisely because of this kind of attack.

Meanwhile Netcraft reports that on Friday Microsoft changed its DNS so that requests for www.microsoft.com no longer resolve to machines on Microsoft’s own network, but instead are handled by the Akamai caching system, which runs Linux.

The side effect is that some Passport-related URLs now pop up a Security Alert saying "The name on the security certificate is invalid or does not
match the name of the site".

D'oh. ®

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