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Microsoft offers Zotob removal tool

Microsoft on Wednesday made available a free software tool to help victims of the worms that are currently attacking Windows computers clean their systems. The Zotob worm started spreading on Sunday. Since then, variants of Zotob and other worms that take advantage of the same Windows security flaw have hit Windows 2000 users in particular. Systems at CNN, ABC and The New York Times were among those infected. The cleaning program is an updated version of Microsoft's Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, Debby Fry Wilson, a director in Microsoft's Security Response Centre, said in an interview. "You click on it and it will tell you if you are infected," she said. "And if you are, it will clean the worm off your PC." The Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool detects and removes malicious code placed on computers. Microsoft typically releases a new version of the tool every month with its security patches. The tool can be run online through Microsoft's Web site or downloaded from the Microsoft Download Centre. The updated cleaning program checks for and removes infections from Zotob.A through Zotob.E as well as Bobax.O, Esbot.A, Rbot.MA, Rbot.MB and Rbot.MC, according to Microsoft. The list represents all known variants based on Microsoft's investigation, the company said.


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