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The Enemy Within (The story has some foul language describing the Conficker computer worm.)
The Atlantic ^ | June 2010 | Mark Bowden

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 didn’t 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 Conficker’s 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 Porras’s 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 didn’t 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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: computervirus; computerworm; conficker; cybersecurity; honeypot; internet; virus; worm

1 posted on 12/11/2011 10:13:29 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

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.


2 posted on 12/11/2011 10:19:47 PM PST by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: DesertRhino

Agreed.

Anyone who designs worms or viruses needs the death penalty. They are evil, plain and simple.


3 posted on 12/11/2011 10:25:43 PM PST by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
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To: neverdem

Could it be a Linux or Mac fan?


4 posted on 12/11/2011 10:36:27 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Could be a 99 center


5 posted on 12/11/2011 10:41:35 PM PST by Nailbiter
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To: Shadowstrike

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).


6 posted on 12/11/2011 10:45:49 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: neverdem

Very interesting read. Thanks OP!


7 posted on 12/11/2011 10:53:11 PM PST by rawhide
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To: rawhide
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.

8 posted on 12/11/2011 11:12:14 PM PST by sand88
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To: neverdem

helluva story


9 posted on 12/11/2011 11:31:57 PM PST by 4buttons
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To: DesertRhino
I am 100% serious, and wouldn’t charge a penny for my services.

So do I. For years I have said the same thing... but we need to put an element of fear in it.
The execution should be public. It should be advertised and put on TV and the Internet. It should be painful and not done quickly.
Then clips of it should be made into advertisements and posted everywhere on every media. Showing "this is what you get for being part of the cause of pain to the rest of the public. So don't do it!"
10 posted on 12/11/2011 11:46:19 PM PST by JSteff ((((It was ALL about SCOTUS. Most forget about that and HAVE DOOMED us for a generation or more.))))
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To: JSteff

I’d say, did it hit a computer anywhere in Singapore. If so, send them there to be caned.


11 posted on 12/11/2011 11:50:10 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: neverdem
He scoffed when he read in late 2009 that the Obama administration’s Department of Homeland Security planned to hire “a thousand” computer-security experts over the next three years. “There aren’t more than a few hundred people in the world who understand this stuff.”

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.

12 posted on 12/11/2011 11:59:44 PM PST by Bellflower (Judas Iscariot, first democrat, robber, held the money bag, claimed to care for poor: John 12:4-6)
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To: Bellflower

It shouldn’t be that hard to teach... both objections seem farfetched to me.


13 posted on 12/12/2011 12:08:14 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: neverdem; DesertRhino; Shadowstrike; HiTech RedNeck; Nailbiter; rawhide; sand88; 4buttons; ...

Here’s a clue:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2815101/posts


14 posted on 12/12/2011 12:08:54 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

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.


15 posted on 12/12/2011 12:14:35 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: sand88

“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?


16 posted on 12/12/2011 12:15:05 AM PST by JoeDetweiler
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To: neverdem

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:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2663517/posts


17 posted on 12/12/2011 12:18:10 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

Thanks for the update!


18 posted on 12/12/2011 12:52:32 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: DesertRhino
Even if it was some goofy kid sending out a goofy virus?

What if it was your kid?

19 posted on 12/12/2011 2:40:56 AM PST by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: starlifter

Oh Well.......Death by Mumba


20 posted on 12/12/2011 3:07:22 AM PST by CGASMIA68
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To: neverdem

http://www.confickerworkinggroup.org/infection_test/cfeyechart.html


21 posted on 12/12/2011 3:40:23 AM PST by RetSignman
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To: RetSignman

bfl


22 posted on 12/12/2011 3:53:11 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: neverdem

The Article is dated June 2010, that means you are only looking at and reading a virtual computer screen. Your computer memory has been erased and replaced by information the Obama Administration wants you to know.


23 posted on 12/12/2011 4:41:25 AM PST by BilLies (Obama Allahu Akbar....the facilitator of the modern Caliphate from the Pacific to Atlantic.)
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To: Shadowstrike

-——Anyone who designs worms or viruses needs the death penalty——

The designers and implementers of Stuxnet deserve a medal. They have likely prevented a nuclear war


24 posted on 12/12/2011 4:48:09 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: RobertClark

Bookmark for later reading.


25 posted on 12/12/2011 4:49:57 AM PST by RobertClark ("Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed")
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To: Bellflower

It’s difficult because if you know how to do this, you also know hoe to protect yourself from being identified.


26 posted on 12/12/2011 5:13:17 AM PST by Vermont Lt (I just don't like anything about the President. And I don't think he's a nice guy.)
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To: RetSignman

thanks


27 posted on 12/12/2011 5:33:53 AM PST by phockthis
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To: HiTech RedNeck; Bellflower; SunkenCiv
It shouldn’t be that hard to teach... both objections seem farfetched to me.

Take a crack at a out-of-date encryption algorithm, and get back to us.

Sometimes rocket science is rocket science.

28 posted on 12/12/2011 7:24:53 AM PST by Ultra Sonic 007 (Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.)
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To: Lancey Howard

Renegade Mossad/CIA ?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2815101/postsFri Dec 2, 2011 5:23am EST

(Reuters) - A cyber warfare expert claims he has linked the Stuxnet computer virus that attacked Iran’s nuclear program in 2010 to Conficker, a mysterious “worm” that surfaced in late 2008 and infected millions of PCs.


29 posted on 12/12/2011 10:06:32 AM PST by GOPJ (Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred - Proverbs 15)
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To: neverdem
It's a wonder any computer works at all.
30 posted on 12/12/2011 2:02:19 PM PST by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: Ultra Sonic 007; neverdem; Ernest_at_the_Beach; martin_fierro; Swordmaker; AdmSmith; ...

Thanks Ultra Sonic 007. And I agree with those above who favor the death penalty for these worm- and virus-writers.

BTW, I don’t necessary mean, “after a fair trial”.


31 posted on 12/12/2011 5:16:28 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Merry Christmas, Happy New Year! May 2013 be even Happier!)
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To: bert

and yet Iran is still a huge threat isn’t it?

Mostly I was speaking for those “civilians” who just use their computer for “normal” use.

Not government spooks “trying” to stop radical nutcases.

But, I still stand by my statement.


32 posted on 12/12/2011 6:46:13 PM PST by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
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To: neverdem; Swordmaker; ShadowAce; Ernest_at_the_Beach; dayglored
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.

Someone could make a cool movie out of this guy's livelihood.

33 posted on 12/12/2011 8:44:06 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: BilLies; humblegunner
Your computer memory has been erased and replaced by information the Obama Administration wants you to know.

I WANNA KNOW

WHERE MY PIE AT, FOO'?

34 posted on 12/12/2011 8:49:34 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: martin_fierro

My computer didn’t get Conficker. I feel left out...


35 posted on 12/12/2011 10:27:55 PM PST by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
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To: Vermont Lt
If there really are about 300 people that are known for being smart enough and knowledgeable enough to operate on this level I would try to narrow down the culprit from this group. It may be that not all of the culprits are from this group, but maybe at least one of them is. I really think that some undercover work needs to be down.

Also the big question has to be who is moneyed enough and influential enough to put together a group like this and also has a motive. I wonder if it isn't the "one worlders". It seems to be someone who has an interest in controlling the whole world at some level

36 posted on 12/12/2011 10:34:02 PM PST by Bellflower (Judas Iscariot, first democrat, robber, held the money bag, claimed to care for poor: John 12:4-6)
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To: Bellflower

China.


37 posted on 12/13/2011 3:45:07 AM PST by Vermont Lt (I just don't like anything about the President. And I don't think he's a nice guy.)
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To: Shadowstrike

——yet Iran is still a huge threat isn’t it?——

Perhaps not. The edge seems to have been removed and the sword is pretty dull. Iran has been relieved of the strongest offensive capabilities for the time being


38 posted on 12/13/2011 4:30:42 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: neverdem

bfl


39 posted on 12/14/2011 10:18:04 AM PST by Balata (It's 'WE THE PEOPLE' Obama, not 'WE THE SHEEPLE'!)
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