Microsoft copes with worm chaos

Tuesday, 26 August 2003, 12:14 AM EST

The voice you heard at the other end of a customer service call to Microsoft during the past two weeks may not have belonged to one of the 4500 specialists who are paid to do that job.

Even top executives pitched in to answer phones after an "all hands on deck" call went out to product teams on August 12, a day after the W32.Blaster worm began afflicting the computers of companies and home users that hadn't applied a patch for the Windows vulnerability being exploited.

Microsoft's Product Support Services group kicked into emergency response mode as more than 40,000 calls flooded the company's support lines during each of the first four days of the assault. Company officials said the Blaster worm caused the largest spike in call volume that Microsoft has ever encountered as a result of any virus or worm.

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