A bug has struck the WebTV television-based internet service in the US, flooding newsgroups with junk mail and stopping subscribers from posting.
Microsoft, which owns WebTV, denied early reports that the problem was caused by a virus, saying that users had placed the malicious code in the newsgroups. "It is not a virus and is not self-replicating," said aMicrosoft spokesman. "The code has to be manually inserted in the Usenet posts."
The software giant is working on a patch to stop the malicious programming code spreading further.
The incident will undoubtedly dent WebTV's reputation as a service free from viruses and security holes. WebTV is also working on an update to its client and server software which it claims will be hacker proof.
Rival America Online is poised to launch a similar service, called AOL TV, this summer.
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