Reuters Messaging suspended

by Volker Weber

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Reuters Group Plc. (RTR.L: Quote, Profile, Research) has temporarily shut down a privately controlled instant messaging service after a computer worm affected some of the network's users, the media company said on Thursday.

The worm, which exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) instant messaging software, was first detected on the Reuters network early on Thursday, and the company suspended the service five hours later, a spokesman for the London-based company said.

The worm, known as W32/Kelvir-Re, was not designed specifically to target users of Reuters Messaging, an instant messaging service based on Microsoft's messenger technology, the company and a technology analyst said.

Reuters offers the messaging service to financial clients along with its data and news services. There are more than 60,000 active users.

Microsoft said it was working with Reuters to resolve the issue.

This is essentially the same technology that Microsoft uses for MSN. It is an understatement that Reuters customers are not amused.

Reuters was about to open gateways to public IM services with the next release. This incident might lead to some new considerations here.

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