[LINK] It's that worm again

Chirgwin, Richard Richard.Chirgwin@informa.com.au
Mon, 3 Feb 2003 07:53:04 +1000


An article in BusinessWeek has lines which, if true, are horrifying:
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jan2003/tc20030131_4727.htm

>Telephone service, ATM networks, and crucial communications 
>linkages that depend on the Net were knocked out. And while 
>that was bad enough, things might easily have been much worse. 

We've already discussed the folly of autotellers on the Internet, and I
presume that the telephone services mentioned are VoIP. But after some
scare-'em hype from a Net security firm, we get this:

>Local emergency-response operators, who rely on the 
>Net to direct "911" assistance, might have been staring 
>at frozen screens. 

If that's true, then I hardly know how to respond. To move something like
911 to a network that is known to be public and highly vulnerable is
shameless, criminal folly. 

Thankfully, Australia is running behind - in all the "we're lagging the rest
of the world!!" rhetoric I hear, we could try remembering that sometimes,
lagging is a good thing. 

Imagine, for eg, our own 000 system being reliant on the Internet. Ignore
the illusory cost savings; we've already concentrated the emergency operator
to such a degree that it's hard to report a train crash in Waterfall. Now,
take a single-office emergency operator, and give that single office nothing
but Internet communications ... the vulnerability is multiplied a
thousandfold.

BTW, thanks for the reference, Andy. And the next Trojan attack is already
underway:
>http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/56/29137.html
>Trojan writers exploit Outlook to get around content filtering

Richard Chirgwin

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andy Farkas [mailto:andyf@speednet.com.au]
> Sent: Sunday, 2 February 2003 15:25
> To: link@anu.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [LINK] It's that worm again
> 
> 
> On Sun, 2 Feb 2003, David Boxall wrote:
> 
> > Doomsday scenario:
> > Five years hence, a billion unsophisticated users with always on
> > broadband connections, running insecure software that they 
> don't know
> > they have, let alone how to secure it.  A worm is released.
> > Microsoft says there isn't a problem, for "the average home user".
> 
> Another worm is bound to be released - I'd put money on it. Especially
> considering that there are still unpatched vulnerabilities[0] 
> lurking in
> their software.
> 
> A likely vector would be the "WMP Stench" bug - it allows 
> remote execution
> of any file a perpetrater chooses to upload to the victim's box.
> 
> [0] <http://www.pivx.com/larholm/unpatched/>
> 
> --
> 
>  :{ andyf@speednet.com.au
> 
>         Andy Farkas
>     System Administrator
>    Speednet Communications
>  http://www.speednet.com.au/
> 
> 
> 
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