Experts debate danger of Phatbot worm

Thursday, 18 March 2004, 12:38 PM EST

Security discussion lists and reports were abuzz Wednesday with talk of a new worm, named "Phatbot," that had spread to as many as hundreds of thousands of systems. But not all security experts agreed that the worm was widespread.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, no major antivirus company had listed the worm as more than a "low" risk.

Craig Schmugar, virus researcher for Network Associates Inc.'s McAfee Avert research group, said the interesting variant began appearing on Monday, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, but has since toned down. There have been several variations since the initial attack, Schmugar said, some more dangerous than others. The Santa Clara, Calif. company are keeping a close eye on them, but maintaining their risk assessment of "low."

By Larry Seltzer at eWeek.

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