Only a week after posting a bug fix for Internet Information Server that hackers used to bring down the Microsoft Web site, Microsoft is preparing to release a patch for a bug that disabled the Web site again for the past few days. A Microsoft spokesman reported that trouble visiting the Web site on Monday was due to service upgrades but the truth is that a malicious "ping of death" attack by hackers brought the site to its knees.

"What we discovered yesterday was that in Windows NT Server and Windows 95, if you intentionally send a malformed packet at the IP level, the server can become hung in the same way that UNIX servers got hung using the ping-of-death," said Mike Nash, director of product marketing for Windows NT Server.

The patch should be available by the time you read this. I will post details tomorrow in WinInfo