Guess who didn’t install the Microsoft security patch to combat SQL Slammer?
NYT story reads, in part: The frantic message came from the corporation’s information technology workers: “HELP NEEDED: If you have servers that are nonessential, please shut down.”
The computer system was under attack by a rogue program called SQL Slammer, which affected servers running Microsoft software that had not been updated with a patch — issued months ago — to fix the vulnerability. The worm hindered the operations of hundreds of thousands of computers, slowed Internet traffic and even disrupted thousands of A.T.M. terminals.
But this wasn’t happening at just any company. It was occurring at Microsoft itself. Some internal servers were affected, and service to users of the Microsoft Network was significantly slowed.
The disruption was particularly embarrassing for Microsoft, which has been preaching the gospel of secure computing. On Jan. 23, the company’s chairman, Bill Gates, sent a memo to customers describing progress in improving its products since he announced a “trustworthy computing” initiative a year ago.
“While we’ve accomplished a lot in the past year, there is still more to do,” he wrote. He cited the hundreds of millions spent to shore up Microsoft’s products, and its plans to deliver more secure products in the future. He also listed “things customers can do to help.” The first item was “stay up to date on patches.”
More on Slammer — Wired story.