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basically, it was a big story on the net a few weeks ago. and don't tell me that you can run an xp-machine without a firewall nowadays. it is just not true. i have gone trhrough this several timea already. buy a computer for one of my friends, connect it to the net, boot it up: *blam* - sasser. no chance to install a firewall first...
Here's the 31337 h4x0r trick to avoiding this.
1. unpack your shiny new computer and boot it up. Do not connect it to the network.
2. enable XP's built-in firewall.
3. connect the network cable.