Updated: 2009-02-14 22:30:57

Blaster Virus Information

virusYears ago I worked in a call centre dealing with Microsoft Windows based PCs. I was on the phone when the MSBLAST/Blaster virus hit in August 2003 and we saw the call queue sky-rocket from about 20 in the queue, to well over 100. At that point a select few of us were taken off of taking calls and tasked with finding a solution. I was one of those agents, and within the hour we had a guide sent around the call centre to advise agents on both the hardware and software lines. Today I speak to agents who had received that guide and it turns out that it's somewhat legendary.

Well, I came home that night and I wrote up what information I had. I screen grabbed the process, including the errors you would see and published it on Visualante.org. Search Google for "Visualante MSBlast" and you'll find loads of mention of my article, including one on The Register that sent average visits to Visualante.org up from about 100 a day to over 7000 by 9am that morning.

I continued to add to the information that I had for a few months, and even added more information when the Welchia variant, which had the same side effect (restarting unpatched PCs) while removing Blaster itself, appeared. Eventually I realised that Visualante just wasn't the place for this kind of information and I set up a new site; NewTechHelp. For a while NTH prospered, but after I moved on from the call centre I was no longer in a position to maintain the site. I asked for help but nobody responded. I put a poll on the site asking whether anyone would miss the site and still, nobody responded. So, I let the domain lapse and the information disappeared forever.

Recently, the same people who told me that my guides were legendary, told me that the information I had on NTH and Visualante in those days was sorely missed when removed and it got me thinking that I could put some of it back. OK, so it's five years old at the time of writing, but maybe some people still find it useful? Well, I've got to admit that I'm tempted, but I'm not going to. If you're still suffering the effects of viruses like Blaster then consider the fact that it only affected PCs with the original version of Windows XP and Windows 2000. There was a patch released in late July 2003 that fixed the vulnerability that allowed Blaster on to your PC. Let this be a lesson to you. A simple firewall would block it, as would a router. Or having Service Pack (SP) 1, 2 or 3 installed on your Windows XP. There is no good reason for you to still be at risk. Turn automatic updates on and let Windows XP protect you. If you've got Vista, or a Mac, then this is of no consequence to you, but people, really, if you still need this information then you are WAY behind the times! Catch up!