Microsoft seems to be more than a little concerned about the new Blaster worm that is making the rounds. The worm's mission is to use compromised machines to launch denial of service attacks against Microsoft's Windows Update servers.
I say this because Microsoft e-mailed me 6 basically identical bulletins in one day about the worm and what steps I needed to take to protect my computer from it. Evidently I subscribe to 6 Microsoft e-mail newsletters (I've never counted how many nor cared). Each bulletin had the title of a different newsletter in the e-mail's subject.
With all of the *smart* people that work at Microsoft, I'd have thought someone would think to combine the distribution lists for all of their newsletters and weed out the duplicates before mailing, so that only one e-mail is sent to each address. The fact they did not makes me wonder if Microsoft decided it was more important to blast every e-mail address on file as soon as possible rather than taking some time to eliminate duplicate mailings. Sending me 6 e-mails actually decreases the chance I'll read any of them though (let alone all 6).
The ironic part of all this is that all 6 e-mails were wasted on me. Rhye's computer and a third computer we have in the living room are running Win98SE and are not vulnerable to the worm. My machine is running XP Home and I've had the patch that protects against the Blaster worm installed for a month. All 3 machines are behind a hardware firewall and run Zone Alarm as well. My machine has Norton Antivirus running on it. The other two are not running antivirus software - that's probably the only weak area in our home network.
I know a lot of people don't patch their machines as often as they should, so there's going to be a large number of infected machines out there. It will be interesting to see what happens over the weekend (that's when the worm is supposed to start its first denial of service attacks against Microsoft), and how Microsoft deals with it - especially since Microsoft does not have a stellar reputation in the computer security field.