Clueless in Seattle

Nearly a week after the Remote Explorer virus struck down MCI WorldCom in the US, Microsoft UK has little idea what the dangers are and even less information on whether or not the virus could strike again.

Nearly a week after the Remote Explorer virus struck down MCI WorldCom in the US, Microsoft UK has little idea what the dangers are and even less information on whether or not the virus could strike again.

The company's Windows product marketing manager Mark Pennant told ZDNet UK News this morning that the best defence against the virus, which attacks Windows NT-based networks and propagates over the network, is to "remain pro-active with antivirus software" and with regular checks on email and other external sources of data entering company systems.

Prompted by several notes from network administrators, ZDNet UK News asked if Microsoft knew whether the fix put out by Network Associates was 100 percent effective. Pennant said: "I don't have that information." Asked if Microsoft knew when a reliable cure would be available, Pennant said: "I don't have that information."

Denying that Microsoft UK was suffering from information drought, Pennant said the company's Seattle based team was much closer to the problem and more details would become available soon.

Network Associates confirmed that it received information about the virus on Friday, worked all weekend to find a fix which was posted with a detector Tuesday. A Network Associates spokesman said he didn't know whether the fix would work in all situations.

For Network Associates' Remote Explorer fix, click here.

If you have concerns about Remote Explorer, either ring us on 0171 903 6993 or mail the editor.