Microsoft fails to patch Hotmail servers, hit by Code Red

Proving again that it doesn't practice what it preaches, Microsoft on Thursday confirmed that the Code Red worm infected two servers used for its Hotmail Web-based e-mail service.

"A few MSN Hotmail servers were affected by the Code Red worm virus. The servers were promptly removed from the MSN Hotmail environment, shut down and patched," said a Microsoft spokeswoman in the U.K., adding that the infection was detected late Wednesday afternoon in the U.S..

The two infected systems were a test system and a production system, the spokeswoman said, adding that no user data was compromised and that all users should be able to access the Hotmail service in a secure fashion. Hotmail has over 100 million users worldwide.

Microsoft has taken extra steps to ensure the security of its network and servers to minimize the impact of the worm, according to the spokeswoman. The company seems to have been caught by the Code Red II (also known as Code Red 3.0) variant of the original Code Red worm that surfaced last weekend.

"Our understanding of the Code Red variant is that it is very effective and has a greater potential to compromise systems," the spokeswoman said.

Code Red and Code Red II exploit a known hole in Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS) software. A patch for the vulnerability has been available since mid-June. Microsoft was part of an unprecedented public relations campaign in late July that urged all users of the software, a standard part of Windows 2000 and Windows NT, to install that patch in the wake of the Code Red reawakening on Aug. 1.

This isn't the first time that Microsoft has neglected to install its own security patches. Dutch hacker Dimitri managed to hack into a Microsoft Web server twice last year, the second time after Microsoft said its security personnel had plugged the security hole exploited by Dimitri.

Besides Microsoft, Code Red has also claimed other victims in various locales worldwide. Employees of consulting company Cap Gemini Ernst & Young LLP in some countries on Tuesday had no access to their intranet for many hours because of the worm, a spokeswoman confirmed. Also, about 30,000 DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) users in Taiwan were attacked by the worm, slowing down their Internet connection, according to security firm Trend Micro Inc.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?