DENVER, August 10, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband communications company, has dedicated more than 1,000 technical experts to help customers affected by the worldwide ?Code Red? virus, also known as a ?worm,? caused by computer hackers. Qwest today is completing phone calls and distribution of personal letters and e-mails to customers about what steps they may take if they are affected by the virus.
In an effort to provide the highest level of customer service possible, Qwest technical support experts are instructing customers who call them through a step-by-step process to install the current solution to the virus, if the customer is uncomfortable following the directions on his/her own. The average call with an expert lasts 20 minutes. Wait times are far above the normal average of one to two minutes for DSL technical support, but as of this morning have decreased by 80 percent to 20 minutes. The virus did not affect the vast majority of Qwest?s DSL customers.
Qwest has also published on its web site (www.qwest.com) revised, simplified steps customers who have the Cisco 675 or 678 modems may take to install the current interim solution to the ?Code Red? virus. Several strains of the virus already have emerged and more are expected, according to government officials. News reports estimate the worldwide economic impact of the virus at $2 billion to date.
Customers may temporarily fix the virus by unplugging their modem from the electrical outlet, waiting a few seconds for the connection to be completely severed, and then plugging the modem back in. This should reset the modem and allow customers to access the Internet. Customers then need to obtain the interim solution to the latest virus by going to the Qwest web site. Customers may also call 1-866-581-3838 if they have ?Code Red? virus concerns.
?The ?Code Red? virus is an industry-wide problem currently affecting all carriers and Internet service providers,? said Brent Greene, deputy manager of the U. S. Department of Defense National Communications Systems organization. ?The government and major industry security organizations are focused on this virus as it was originally targeted at major government sites. The virus infects many manufacturers? modems and computer servers. The FBI is working to find the people who launched the virus. We stopped earlier viruses, and we will stop this one, too.?
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leader in reliable, scalable and secure broadband data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. The Qwest Macro Capacity® Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking equipment for speed and efficiency, spans more than 113,000 miles globally. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.
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