Skip to Main Content
On Friday, 19 March 2004, at approximately 8:45 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST), an Internet worm began to spread, targeting a buffer overflow vulnerability in several Internet Security Systems (ISS) products, including its RealSecure Network, RealSecure Server Sensor, RealSecure Desktop, and BlackICE. The worm took advantage of a security flaw in these firewall applications that eEye Digital Security discovered earlier in March. Once the Witty worm - so called because its payload contained the phrase, "( , )insert witty message here ( , )" - infects a computer, it deletes a randomly chosen section of the hard drive, which, over time, renders the machine unusable. We share a global view of the worm's spread, with particular attention to its features.