Washington (Sept. 11, 2003) -- Microsoft warned users Wednesday that it's found serious new flaws that leave its Windows software vulnerable to hacker attacks.

Microsoft urged customers to immediately apply a free repairing patch from its Web site, www.microsoft.com. It warned that the flaws could leave computer systems vulnerable to hackers who could completely control the victim's computer by attacking these flaws, which affects Window technology that allows computers to communicate with others across a network.

The new flaws are apparently nearly identical to problems hackers exploited by the so-called Blaster virus, which spread last month and affected thousands of computers nationwide.

Computer users who applied an earlier patch in July to protect themselves still must install the new patch from Microsoft.

Microsoft's disclosure came moments before its senior security strategist, Phil Reitinger, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the company's efforts to help consumers defend themselves against viruses and other Internet attacks.

"Microsoft is committed to continuing to strengthen our software to make it less vulnerable to attack," said Reitinger, a former deputy chief in the Justice Department's cybercrime division. Still, he acknowledged, "There is no such thing as completely secure software."

-- WebCPA staff

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