Feeds

Blaster body count '8m or above' - MS

Clean-up squad

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The infamous Blaster worm infected far more PCs than previously thought - at least eight million, according to Microsoft.

The figure come from the number of times a special Blaster clean-up tool, released by Microsoft in January, has been applied. The tool, available through Windows Update, is cleans up infected machines and also patches PC against the vuln which Blaster exploits.

More than 16 million PCs submitted to Windows Update were infected by Blaster; but that figure is less reliable than the tool download stat because it could include systems counted more than once. Many of those who go to Windows Update may not go through the disinfection process immediately, if at all.

Estimates from security firms and the Internet Storm Centre at the time of Blaster first appearance last August suggested only 500,000 systems had been infected. This data was derived from scanning probes generated from infected PCs. The discrepancy between early data and Microsoft's latest figures could be explained by the containment of scanning behind corporate firewalls, although this theory remains unproven.

Stephen Toulouse, security program manager for Microsoft's security response centre, is confident that the new figures are accurate.

"The [clean-up] tool doesn't even get offered to users, unless they had patches installed and we detected the existence of Blaster on their computer," he told CNET. ®

Related stories

Blaster rewrites Windows worm rules
Microsoft releases Blaster clean-up tool
Blaster clean-up tool was stellar success - MS
Blaster beats up British business

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.