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The increasing propagation of viruses, spam, and spyware on corporate networks is a major concern for many organizations. In fact, IT managers and security firms have pegged spyware as 2005's biggest threat to networks.
Unfortunately, even the best administrators can fall victim to the worst threat at some point. Cleaning machines can be a painstaking process, and the process often requires rebooting the machine to be completely successful. Depending on the size of your network, cleaning up after a virus attack is often a time-consuming process.
To aid you in any clean-up efforts, Microsoft has released the Malicious Software Removal Tool, which you can access from Microsoft's Web site. This tool scans for and removes software associated with a number of threats, including Bagle, Blaster, Mimail, Mydoom, Netsky, Sober, and more.
Microsoft updates the tool each month when it releases its security bulletin on the second Tuesday of the month. Thanks to this monthly update, you can take steps to clean your systems of all common, removable threats, even if they've just recently surfaced.
The Malicious Software Removal Tool works on computers running Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003. After you've run the tool, you'll get a report that outlines what the tool found and removed from your system.
You have two options for using this tool. You can run it from Microsoft's Web site, and the tool will delete itself after running. Or, you can also download an installable version of the Malicious Software Removal Tool from Microsoft's Web site.