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Microsoft Issues Zotob Cleaning Tool

Microsoft late Wednesday rushed out a new version of its Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool as one response to a bot worm attack that began earlier this week.

The updated tool -- which can be run from the Web or downloaded separately -- now detects and deletes 10 variations of the Zotob bot that's been probing for vulnerable Windows 2000 PCs since Sunday.

Normally, Microsoft updates the free tool the second Tuesday of each month, the same day it releases its monthly batch of security bulletins and patches. But it's also reserved the right to release it "as needed to respond to security events."

This is the first time that Microsoft has revised and re-released the tool outside of that monthly schedule.

"We are not aware at this time of a new attack, but are releasing this free tool to help any customers that may have been affected," said a Microsoft spokesperson.

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