Cure From Trend Micro Creates Ailment

Trend Micro posted a downloadable pattern file on its Web site Friday to help customers thwart attacks by "bot" viruses, specifically those in the WORM_RBOT family, a Trend Micro spokesperson said. However, the pattern file wasn't properly tested and ended up disrupting many of the systems that downloaded it, causing CPUs to run code in a loop, eating up processing power and slowing the computing process, according to Trend Micro.

The pattern file was available for download from about 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. PST Friday, the spokesperson said. Almost 5,000 customers in the United States, Asia and Australia were affected.

Computers running Trend Micro's PC-cillin, OfficeScan or ServerProtect security software were the most vulnerable to the effects of the pattern file, and most of the affected systems were running Windows XP that had been upgraded with Service Pack 2, the Trend Micro spokesperson said.

Trend Micro has made a new anti-bot pattern file available for download. Remediation for affected systems can be found on Trend Micro's Web site.

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The Japan-based company, which has offices in Cupertino, Calif., is re-examining the way it tests and deploys pattern files, the spokesperson said. Trend Micro channel partners also are being advised on how best to deal with the issue.

Bots are a recent addition to the computer virus roster. They attempt to imitate the behavior of a computer user by hitting certain Web sites and even engaging in chat-room conversations.