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The Nimda worm uses an existing backdoor (Unicode exploit) to gain access to a system to install itself. Once someone has access to root.exe, they could do anything wanted on an unpatched, compromised host. Once a system is properly patched, Nimda and other worms will not be able to use that entry point.
Dig Deeper on Malware, virus, Trojan and spyware protection and removal
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