Downgraded Code Red causes few problems

The latest threat from Code Red caused no major problems last weekend, justifying the decision by the FBI's National...

The latest threat from Code Red caused no major problems last weekend, justifying the decision by the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Centre (NIPC) to downgrade the security status of the worm.

Systems infected by the worm were scheduled to launch more denial-of-service attacks against the White House Web server on 19 August. But the NIPC, in an update of its Code Red security warnings of 16 August, advised that the dangers were considered to be "significantly reduced".

A spokesman at the CERT Coordination Centre, a computer security operation, said that no new major problems were witnessed on the Net over the weekend. Describing the latest Code Red threat as a "non-event", the spokesman said that by patching their servers and rerouting traffic, "All of the [Internet service providers] had done the right thing."

The Code Red worm has infected hundreds of thousands of systems running Microsoft's Internet Information Services (IIS) software since coming to light on 19 July.

Much of the continued threat from the worm has been reduced, according to the NIPC, because many vulnerable systems have been patched to seal the security hole that allowed it to invade. Because a large number of systems have since been patched, the potential for a widespread slowdown of Internet traffic is minimal.

But the NIPC still urges all users of Windows 2000 Professional, Server and Advanced Server and Windows NT Server to download and install the patches.

On 15 August, Microsoft announced two new security tools aimed at improving the download and distribution rate of the security patches.

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