“Coastguard stations around the UK have been severely disrupted after a computer worm brought down IT systems. The Sasser worm has hit all 19 coastguard stations and the service’s headquarters, leaving officers reliant on pens and paper. But there was no danger to the public, a UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman said,” BBC News reports. “Its computer mapping facilities were not working but staff were still able to use paper maps, she added. The Sasser bug has affected coastguard logging operations but left its command and control systems and lifesaving equipment unaffected.”
BBC News reports., “Coastguards are still able to use telephones and radios but fax and telex machines have been put out of action. The Sasser worm infects [Windows OS] computers via the internet. The coastguard service is the latest casualty of the bug, which is thought to have affected millions of Windows PC users since it was first discovered on 1 May.”
“Unlike recent viruses, Sasser does not travel by e-mail but makes its way around the internet unaided. It can infect PCs running Windows 2000 and Windows XP that are not protected against the system loophole it exploits,” BBC News reports. “According to anti-virus firms, machines running Windows 95, 98 and Millennium Edition can help spread Sasser even though they cannot be infected by it.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Computers running Apple’s Mac OS X are not affected by the Sasser worm. More information about how easy it is to add a Mac OS X machine to your computing arsenal here.