hypothetical Warhol worm

From: Miriam English (miriam@werple.net.au)
Date: Thu Aug 16 2001 - 23:07:09 MDT

Hi folks,

I have just finished reading about a particularly scary bit of research
that shows it is not hard to write a worm that infects 99% of vulnerable
machines worldwide in about 15 minutes!!!! That is way faster than humans
could possibly react.


Again the main vulnerabilities (about 2/3rds of the way thru the article)
are Microsoft IIS (with Microsoft 2000 Server), Microsoft Exchange,
messenger applications (AOL IM, MSN messenger) (and ICQ?), and peer to peer
file sharing
programs (Napster, Kazaa).

He then discusses defenses against such a danger of infection and how a
worm could wreak havoc once it successully infected a machine -- random
overwriting of data, and installing hooks so that reboot caused your BIOS
to be reflashed trashing your motherboard. :-(

All in all a bit depressing, but something we all need to know. I hate
having to learn about security, but if we are to survive this digital age
of innocence it seems we need to know enough to avoid falling down with
everybody else.

Best wishes,

         - Miriam

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association http://www.vr.org.au

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