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Is Your Computer Infected With Phatbot?


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Only computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system can be infected with Phatbot. Experts say the computers most likely to be affected are ones that have not already had the latest software security patches installed and that are not running some sort of firewall program. Phatbot also can inject itself into systems that remain infected by several recent Internet worms, including "Mydoom," "Bagle," "Blaster," and "Slammer."

Phatbot, which is identified by many antivirus programs as a variant of the "Agobot" or "Gaobot" Trojans, is designed to reside on the host computer without drawing too much attention to itself.

Part of the problem with identifying an infection is that once Phatbot infects a system, it will shut down or disable more than 600 programs, including most antivirus and firewall software installed on home computer systems today.

Experts say if a user notices that the program icon for his or her antivirus or firewall software has suddenly disappeared from the computer screen, there is a good chance the PC is infected with Phatbot or another Trojan horse program.

Many users whose computers are infected with Phatbot may find it impossible to keep their antivirus software running long enough to scan their system or remove the infectious file. Antivirus company F-Secure has released a handy tool that helps clean computers infected with the Trojan. It can be downloaded here:

For more information on Phatbot, go to:

-- Brian Krebs, Home

© 2004 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive

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