Worm Shuts Down CNN, ABC, and New York Times

Something called the Zotob worm shut down Windows 2000 operating systems around the country today, including the computers at CNN, ABC, and the New York Times.

Worm strikes down Windows 2000 systems (CNN)

A computer worm shut down computer systems running Windows 2000 software across the United States on Tuesday, hitting computers at CNN, ABC and The New York Times. Around 5 p.m. computers began crashing at CNN facilities in New York and Atlanta. ABC said its problems began in New York about 1:30 p.m. The Caterpillar Co. in Peoria, Illinois also was reportedly affected.

David Perry of Trend Micro said that the attack seems to have been triggered by a new worm, called worm–rbot.ebq. He said the symptoms — computers repeatedly shutting down and rebooting — was consistent with that virus. Johannes Ullrich, director of the Sans Institute, a network security firm in Jacksonville, Florida, said the outage also may have been caused by the Zotob worm, which was released last weekend. “It will connect to a control server to ask for instructions. It scans network neighborhoods and tries to infect them, as well,” Ullrich said.

As usual, the legacy media are way behind. This shut down our computers at work yesterday morning.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Herb says:

    What do you know, One worm attacks other worms.

  2. McGehee says:

    And this happened only a couple of weeks after I replaced my Win2K machine with one running XP.

    But I have an alibi.

  3. Russ says:

    As usual for the media, it’s all about the media.

    I’m in the network business; my organization has been fighting the effects of Zotob nonstop since it hit.

    This thing is having a far broader impact than just the media. Indeed, they’re probably the least important of the major organizations being hit. Unless, of course, no one needs their paychecks, or food delivered to the grocery stores, or… well, you get the point.