A computer virus targeting Microsoft's Windows software shut down machines at Time Warner's CNN and Walt Disney's ABC network today.

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A computer virus targeting Microsoft’s Windows software shut down machines at Time Warner’s CNN and Walt Disney’s ABC network today.

CNN spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg confirmed computer failures in Atlanta and New York. ABC computers on the East and West coasts were affected, spokesman Jeff Schneider said today. The Zotob computer worm has been spreading since Sunday and affects machines running Windows 2003, 2000 and XP, according to anti-virus software maker Symantec.

CNN computers in New York and Atlanta were hit at about 5 p.m. New York time and forced the network to alter its programming schedule. “The Situation Room” program hosted by Wolf Blitzer ran for 90 minutes, taking half an hour from “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Goldberg said.

Computers at the New York Times were also hit.

The worm takes advantage of a Windows flaw that Microsoft disclosed Aug. 9, along with a software update to fix the flaw.

A patch for the security hole is available at “www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS05-039.mspx”