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The worm continues to infect a large number of computers while security experts try and figure out what to do

Microsoft has created a new technology industry posse and a $250,000 reward for people who help turn over the creators of the Conficker worm.

The Conficker worm multiplied like wildfire, and spreads through a hole found in Microsoft Windows systems, though the vulnerability was patched in October.  It also is able to disable anti-malware protection and will block an infected PC from visiting anti-malware vendors Web sites to receive updates.

Security experts are even more worried about the possibility the worm calls home every 24 hours to at least 250 servers each day for instructions or directed actions.

The Houston police department was forced to stop arresting people with traffic warrants because the worm spread its way through the police and city court's computer systems.  Violent offenders were still arrested, but those with outstanding traffic warrants were simply issued citations instead of being arrested, Houston police officials said.

There also was a Conficker outbreak among French military computers, which led to several fighter planes being grounded until everything could be fixed.

Microsoft is working with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and PC security experts while trying to identify the worm's creators.  VeriSign, NeuStar, Public Internet Registry, Global Domains International, AOL, F-Secure, George Tech, and several other organizations have joined the fight to help capture who ever created the Internet worm.

"As part of Microsoft's ongoing security efforts, we constantly look for ways to use a diverse set of tools and develop methodologies to protect our customers," Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Group G.M. George Stathakopoulos said in a statement.  "By combining our expertise with the broader community we can expand the boundaries of defense to better protect people worldwide."

Security company Symantec reported that more than 2.2 million IP addresses over the past five days have been infected with two different forms of the worm, three months after it first hit the Internet.  To date, it's infected at least 10 million PCs since first being introduced into the wild.



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RE: How about...
By rcc on 2/13/2009 4:57:49 PM , Rating: 0
Right. cuz it's always better to punish the victim than the criminal??


RE: How about...
By omnicronx on 2/13/2009 5:08:17 PM , Rating: 3
If I walk around with a $100 bill safety pinned to my back and someone steals it, who is more to blame?

Security holes are never going to go away,(doesn't matter what OS) if you are not going to keep up with windows updates manually, turn on automatic updates.

Of course the criminal should be blamed, but this would not be an issue if the consumer made us of basic windows functionality.


RE: How about...
By rcc on 2/16/2009 6:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If I walk around with a $100 bill safety pinned to my back and someone steals it, who is more to blame?


The thief that stole it. Not that it wouldn't be stupid to do that, particularly in some neighborhoods. The current trend of "it's easy therefore it's legal/right" doesn't wash in my book. Call me old fashioned.

quote:
but this would not be an issue if the consumer made us of basic windows functionality.


Of course it would. It may be less common, but it would still be a problem. And if all cars came from the factory with dents and faded paint, the stats on auto thief would change as well.


RE: How about...
By fishbits on 2/13/2009 5:20:19 PM , Rating: 5
Where I live, it's punishable to operate a car that's in such bad condition that it is a hazard to the others sharing the roads. At the very least, you will be told to park the junkheap.

If you wish to share a network, especially a public one, your computer also needs to be at least minimally secured.

It's not a punishment. It's "Your headlights have to work before you drive at night. And no, it doesn't matter if someone else is going around breaking them."


RE: How about...
By rcc on 2/16/2009 6:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between life safety issues and computer/network security. A better analogy, if there must be one, is home security.

I don't know of anywere that mandates a home alarm, or even lock types/specs.

So, it's always the fault of "him what done it". We need to be at least moderately astute in protecting ourselves, mentally, physically, and/or electronically. But if we fail in some regard or for some period of time, it's not the victim's fault. The criminally minded still has to make a decision to hack your network, break into your house, etc. i.e. break the the legal or moral code.


RE: How about...
By fishbits on 2/17/2009 4:20:07 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not aware of burglarized homes that then become "zombie burglars" going from house to house worldwide, breaking into other homes, making them "zombie burglars" in the process. Do you?

Roadways are interconnected, with multiple users sharing access and resources. Networks are interconnected, with multiple users sharing access and resources. Understand the analogy yet? See how you took the time to disregard an applicable one to create one that isn't?

"So, it's always the fault of "him what done it"."
Who said otherwise? That doesn't mean that users should be allowed access to shared resources when their means of accessing them aren't minimally safe. Try passing around infected media in the circles I operate in. Then try continuing to say "It wasn't me that deliberately infected the media! I just chose not to take basic, minimal protective actions. That means I'm blameless and should continue to have access!" Someone MAY explain to you just how wrong your thinking is, but in either case the risk you pose will be removed.


RE: How about...
By rcc on 2/25/2009 2:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, were you having a bad day?

Because what you said wasn't a whole lot different than what I said, but your tone leads me to believe that you thought so.


"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser











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