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"Code Red" worm threat remains

"Code Red" has once more shaken up the computer industrie

(Keystone Archive)

The computer worm "Code Red" has had minimal impact on the flow of Swiss internet traffic, however, computer experts say it is still too early to assess the full impact of the bug. They are expecting a fresh alert next month.

Free software squashes worm

Computer experts saw no immediate effect from the virus-like "Code Red" worm, which has struck twice before, and Swiss internet sites remainedlargely unscathed.

This could partly be due to the fact that computer users were better prepared this time as Microsoft has distributed a free software programme on the internet to catch the worm and prevent it from infecting files.

The worm can only affect computers running Windows 2000 and can be eliminated by simply switching the machine off and on. However, this does not provide immunity from future infection.

Governments not affected

The United States government, which has been the target of previous versions of the worm, said it had not been affected. According to the director of the US National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) no unusual activity has been detected.

Most Asian governments told a similar story and even China, an early suspect, remained unaffected. A spokesman for the state-run Computer Virus Treatment Center in Tianjin said the Center had received no reports of virus cases.

A spokesman for the federal information technology and telecommunications office in Bern, Claudio Frigerio, confirmed that the virus-like worm also attempted to infiltrate the federal administration but without success.

Frigerio said the federal administration attack was repulsed thanks to the anti-virus programme, which had been installed in time.

A survey among leading Swiss Internet providers, which provide access to sites, found no traces of "Code Red".

The worm is the latest in a series of disruptive so-called bugs and viruses to infest the IT world in recent years.


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