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The SQL Slammer computer virus hit Bank Leumi servers yesterday, paralyzing the bank's website and preventing access to on-line information and services, as well as the Leumi-Phone service.

Security experts believe some 200 organizations, including a number of major corporations, were affected by the worm.

Bank Leumi's spokeswoman denied the bank's servers had been hit by the worm, which caused over $1 billion in damages globally. "There was a localized problem that was repaired in a short time, and now all of the bank's services are functioning properly," she said, refusing, however, to detail the "localized problem."

The Slammer worm exploited a security breach for Microsoft's SQL Server 2000 about 10 days ago. After the virus takes control of the server, it sends itself out thousands of times per second by making random contact with other IP addresses.