CERT Reports Rise In Attacks On Weak Admin Passwords

Thursday, 13 March 2003, 8:44 AM EST

The CERT Coordination Center has noticed an uptick in the number of Windows 2000 and Windows XP PCs compromised by attacks on weak administrator passwords, the federally funded security center said in an advisory Tuesday.

The boost in attacks -- coming via tools such as W32/Deloder, GT-bot, sdbot, and W32/Slackor -- take advantage of non-existent or especially-weak administrator passwords to gain control of the computer, delete files, or use the machine to launch further attacks on other networks.

Although the bulk of such attacks seem aimed at home users connecting to the Internet via broadband, it behooves IT administrators to remind employees to keep their at-home systems secure.

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