W3 Media’s Senior Web Developer and Technical Manager Ben Koshy has been credited with being the first person to identify the so-called ‘Slammer’ virus which has been attacking computer systems world wide. He identified the virus late at night in one of his regular checks of network performance at W3 Media’s head office in Vancouver. His prompt action enabled W3 to safeguard its many customers from the worst effects of the attack.

Traffic on the Internet slowed to a crawl as this latest attack overwhelmed the world’s digital networks and interfered with Web use and e-mail delivery around the globe. The attack, which bears similar hallmarks to the debilitating Code Red virus of 2001, has mutated and spread through vulnerable computers by exposing a known flaw in the popular Microsoft database software SQL Server 2000.

The ‘Slammer’ worm is a program that copies itself as it passes between machines, eating up bandwidth and slowing down both the host computer and the network. Commercial websites world-wide have been overwhelmed by the attack and engineers have been working round the clock to bring popular sites back online.

The virus has caused particular problems in Hong Kong, affecting Internet banking facilities and on-line shopping just days ahead of the popular Chinese New Year Holidays.

“This is a significant attack,” commented Ben Koshy. “We host thousands of websites from our offices here in downtown Vancouver and W3’s rapid identification of the ‘Slammer’ virus has allowed us to eliminate the danger for our customers and inform ISP’s and news organisations world-wide about the potential threat.”

This latest attack has also revived debate within the technology industry about the need for an Internet wide monitoring centre, as supported by the US administration. Ben Koshy feels that this virus should act as a timely warning to all Internet users to check the security of their own systems: “Now is the time to ensure that security systems and firewalls are up to date and to ensure that you monitor their effectiveness on a regular basis.”

About W3 Media: W3 International Media (www.w3media.com) is one of Western Canada’s most established Internet service companies, providing a comprehensive range of products and solutions for businesses and organisations everywhere that the Internet reaches. W3’s service options include professional web design, domain registration and world-class hosting & server co-location.

Since its incorporation in 1997, W3 Media has established an enviable reputation for exemplary customer support, high quality service and continuing reliability. W3 Media serves a wide range of clients including the British Columbia Securities Commission, The United Way of the Lower Mainland, Bandai Entertainment and A&W Foods.

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