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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
ESB-2001.323 -- CERT Advisory
Public Alert about the Code Red worm
30 July 2001
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: "Code Red" Worm
Impact: Denial of Service
Execute Arbitrary Code/Commands
Access Required: Remote
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We the CERT/CC, along with other organizations listed below are
jointly publishing this alert about a serious threat to the Internet
For Immediate Release: 3:00 PM EDT July 29, 2001
A Very Real and Present Threat to the Internet: July 31 Deadline For Action
Summary: The Code Red Worm and mutations of the worm pose a continued
and serious threat to Internet users. Immediate action is required to
combat this threat. Users who have deployed software that is
vulnerable to the worm (Microsoft IIS Versions 4.0 and 5.0) must
install, if they have not done so already, a vital security patch.
How Big Is The Problem?
On July 19, the Code Red worm infected more than 250,000 systems in
just 9 hours. The worm scans the Internet, identifies vulnerable
systems, and infects these systems by installing itself. Each newly
installed worm joins all the others causing the rate of scanning to
grow rapidly. This uncontrolled growth in scanning directly decreases
the speed of the Internet and can cause sporadic but widespread
outages among all types of systems. Code Red is likely to start
spreading again on July 31st, 2001 8:00 PM EDT and has mutated so that
it may be even more dangerous. This spread has the potential to
disrupt business and personal use of the Internet for applications
such as electronic commerce, email and entertainment.
Who Must Act?
Every organization or person who has Windows NT or Windows 2000
systems AND the IIS web server software may be vulnerable. IIS is
installed automatically for many applications. If you are not certain,
follow the instructions attached to determine whether you are running
IIS 4.0 or 5.0. If you are using Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows
Me, there is no action that you need to take in response to this
What To Do If You Are Vulnerable?
a. To rid your machine of the current worm, reboot your computer.
b. To protect your system from re-infection: Install Microsoft?s patch for the Code Red vulnerability problem:
* Windows NT version 4.0: http://www.microsoft.com/Downloads/Release.asp?ReleaseID=30833
* Windows 2000 Professional, Server and Advanced Server: http://www.microsoft.com/Downloads/Release.asp?ReleaseID=30800
Step-by-step instructions for these actions are posted at
Microsoft's description of the patch and its installation, and the
vulnerability it addresses is posted at:
Because of the importance of this threat, this alert is being made
The National Infrastructure Protection Center
Federal Computer Incident Response Center (FedCIRC)
Information Technology Association of America (ITAA)
CERT Coordination Center
Internet Security Systems
Internet Security Alliance
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This security bulletin is provided as a service to AusCERT's members. As
AusCERT did not write the document quoted above, AusCERT has had no control
over its content. The decision to use any or all of this information is
the responsibility of each user or organisation, and should be done so in
accordance with site policies and procedures.
NOTE: This is only the original release of the security bulletin. It may
not be updated when updates to the original are made. If downloading at
a later date, it is recommended that the bulletin is retrieved directly
from the original authors to ensure that the information is still current.
Contact information for the authors of the original document is included
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Previous advisories and external security bulletins can be retrieved from:
If you believe that your system has been compromised, contact AusCERT or
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Internet Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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AusCERT personnel answer during Queensland business hours
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On call after hours for emergencies.
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