Skip to comments.The Enemy Within (The story has some foul language describing the Conficker computer worm.)
Posted on 12/11/2011 10:13:19 PM PST by neverdem
When the Conficker computer worm was unleashed on the world in November 2008, cyber-security experts didnt know what to make of it. It infiltrated millions of computers around the globe. It constantly checks in with its unknown creators. It uses an encryption code so sophisticated that only a very few people could have deployed it. For the first time ever, the cyber-security elites of the world have joined forces in a high-tech game of cops and robbers, trying to find Confickers creators and defeat them. The cops are failing. And now the worm lies there, waiting
The first surprising thing about the worm that landed in Philip Porrass digital petri dish 18 months ago was how fast it grew.
He first spotted it on Thursday, November 20, 2008. Computer-security experts around the world who didnt take notice of it that first day soon did. Porras is part of a loose community of high-level geeks who guard computer systems and monitor the health of the Internet by maintaining honeypots, unprotected computers irresistible to malware, or malicious software. A honeypot is either a real computer or a virtual one within a larger computer designed to snare malware. There are also honeynets, which are networks of honeypots. A worm is a cunningly efficient little packet of data in computer code, designed to slip inside a computer and set up shop without attracting attention, and to do what this one was so good at: replicate itself.
Most of what honeypots snare is routine, the viral annoyances that have bedeviled computer-users everywhere for the past 15 years or so, illustrating the principle that any new tool, no matter how useful to humankind, will eventually be used for harm. Viruses are responsible for such things as the spamming of your inbox with penis-enlargement come-ons or...
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
I enthusiastically support the death penalty for those who release viruses or worms. I would flip the switch, pull the trigger, press the button, swat the horse across the butt, etc etc,,
I am 100% serious, and wouldn’t charge a penny for my services.
Anyone who designs worms or viruses needs the death penalty. They are evil, plain and simple.
Could it be a Linux or Mac fan?
Could be a 99 center
Microsoft Windows was SO darned successful that thousands and thousands of ancient, often virgin machines are still sitting out there on the public internet. A virus that does not hurt its host badly enough that its owner cares to take remedial steps, will live virtually forever. If Conficker killed its botnets, everyone would be screaming and buying as much Kaspersky and the like as they could. But it doesn’t.
Still seems there would be a way for ISPs to identify likely Confickered hosts by their networking behavior, and to alert the owners of these machines by snail mail (along with an invitation to run a free antivirus, hosted from the ISP’s website, that snuffs out and immunizes against the bug).
Very interesting read. Thanks OP!
I read the entire article. It was one of the most fascinating reads in many years. Absolutely riveting article. It was very well written.
I’d say, did it hit a computer anywhere in Singapore. If so, send them there to be caned.
If there aren't more than a few hundred people in the world who understand this stuff why can't they track them? It has to be somebody and possibly any number of somebodies on that level who are doing this.
It shouldn’t be that hard to teach... both objections seem farfetched to me.
Here’s a clue:
In counter espionage everything is fair it seems. If you want to propagate a Stuxnet kind of worm, why not ride another ubiquitous worm you know about. I would not quite go so far as to say Conficker was produced for that purpose. It is involved in way too much other computer crime.
“It was very well written.”
I agree. You’ll notice it was written by Mark Bowden, author of “Black Hawk Down” and “Killing Pablo.” Both very good books. I wonder if this is the first stage of a new book?
The article posted is from June 2010 (in case readers here didn’t notice). Here is another, more recent story about efforts to tame conficker, this one form last January:
Thanks for the update!
What if it was your kid?
Oh Well.......Death by Mumba