Witty sets a new worm record

Monday, 29 March 2004, 12:07 PM EST

The Witty worm first hit computers known to be vulnerable and emerged so quickly that most companies had no time to apply a patch, according to an analysis of the program.

The worm started spreading around the internet last week, less than 48 hours after the first public description of the flaw was released. That's the fastest development to date of a worm from a vulnerability, according to a report published Thursday by the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) and the University of California at San Diego.

The fact that all victims were compromised via their firewall software the day after a vulnerability in that software was publicised indicates that the security model in which end users apply patches to plug security holes is not viable," the report stated.

By Robert Lemos at Silicon.

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