SBC Internet Services: Recommends Taking Immediate Security Precautions in Response to New Computer Worm Threats

For more information, contact:
Howard Riefs
SBC Communications Inc.
414.520.3535
[email protected]

CONSUMER ALERT

Worms currently infecting computers across the Internet
exploit security vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows operating systems

SBC Internet Services today recommended that Internet users whose computers run Microsoft Windows immediately take appropriate security measures to protect their computers from several new worm threats. A “family” of worms referred to as Sasser, Agobot or Gaobot are infecting a large number of computers across the Internet.

Worms are computer programs that are capable of infecting one computer and then using that computer to infect other computers via the Internet. The cycle is repeated, and the population of worm-infected computers grows rapidly. Worms differ from viruses because of their ability to continue growing under their own power and spread very quickly without assistance from another program. Because worms do not spread by email, consumers may have little or no warning before their computers are infected.

Computer systems that are infected by a worm such as Sasser may possibly crash and then reboot, experience slow browsing or the inability to connect to the Internet. Computer systems infected by a worm such as Gaobot may also be open for remote control by malicious intruders who can then steal personal information and take further control on the infected computers.

SBC Internet Services strongly urges all Microsoft® Windows® users to immediately take the following security measures to avoid being infected by the worms:

1) Use a personal software or hardware firewall to protect your computers from network worms and intruders.
2) Download and install all available critical patches for your Windows operating system from the Microsoft web site: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/
3) Use up-to-date anti-virus software to detect and remove Gaobot and Sasser or other computer worms and viruses.

If users have more than one computer running the specific Windows operating systems, these actions should be performed on all computers that connect to the Internet.

Users whose computers are infected with Sasser should follow the worm removal instructions at www.microsoft.com/security/incident/sasser.asp. If users are unable to connect to the Windows Update or Anti-Virus web sites, in order to download the removal tools or the patches for Windows and anti-virus software, Microsoft offers free virus and security patch-related support at 866-PCSAFETY or 866-727-2338.

Additional security information

SBC Yahoo! DSL and Dial members can access additional information about SBC Yahoo! security features at help.sbcglobal.net, including:

· Free anti-virus software.
· Free personal firewall.
· Updated information on viruses.
· Tips about protecting personal information.

SBC Internet Services is dedicated to helping our customers have the most secure online experience. For more general information on online safety and security, go to www.sbc.com/safety.