WorldCom Internet Services Restored

Root of the problem that interrupted Internet services may have been an infection of several of WorldCom's servers by the Slapper Worm, says source.

Toward close of business Thursday, WorldCom Inc. issued a public statement confirming the problems on its IP network, which plagued the companys Internet customers across the country. The company announced that service had been restored.

About 20 percent of WorldComs customers were shut out of the network intermittently today, the company said. Some lost connectivity, and many virtual private network users were unable to connect, according to several of the Clinton, Miss., companys users.

WorldCom spokeswoman Jennifer Baker would not comment on the source of the problem. In its press release Thursday evening, however, she stated that "a preliminary investigation indicates that there was a route table issue."

According to a telecom industry source who asked not to be identified, the root of the problem may have been an infection of several of WorldComs servers by the Slapper Worm, which exploits a vulnerability in the OpenSSL tool kit. The worm was identified in mid-September. WorldCom officials would not confirm or deny the attack.

Since the beleaguered telecommunications carrier became mired in financial problems early in the summer, company officials have maintained vehemently that services would continue to be delivered without interruption or quality diminishment. Because WorldCom is a regulated telecom carrier, it is required to notify customers and the Federal Communications Commission before terminating services.

Editors note: This story has been updated to include comment from WorldCom officials.

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