Blaster worm goes multi-platinum

— 10:23 AM on April 5, 2004 has gotten hold of some Microsoft estimates for the number of machines infected by the Blaster worm, and the numbers are eye opening:

New data from Microsoft suggests that at least 8 million Windows computers have been infected by the MSBlast, or Blaster, worm since last August--many times more than previously thought.

The latest data comes from the software giant's ability to track the usage of an online tool that its engineers created to clean systems infected with the worm. Since the January release of the tool, more than 16 million of the systems that connected to Microsoft's Windows Update service were found to be infected with MSBlast and were offered a patch and the use of the disinfecting tool, the software giant told CNET During the same period, about 8 million systems actually called on Update to patch them and prevent reinfection and used the special tool to remove the worm.

There is some doubt over whether 8 million or 16 million is closer to the actual tally, but MS believes 8 million is a reliable baseline number.

Between spam mail, viruses, Windows Messenger service spamming, spyware, adware, pop-ups, pop-unders, IM spamming, script kiddies, and everything else, the amount of crap on the Internet these days is staggering in its scope and rate of growth. I have no less than six different programs I use, plus a hardware router/firewall, just to make my own PC workable amid the storm. And feel like I'm losing the battle.

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