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Garbage In, Garbage In II

Sorting through email this morning was like wading through sewage trying to find my car keys.

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Due to the variant SoBig.F worm, I received more than 600 emails overnight with the various “Re: Your Details” and “Re: Thank You” subject lines. Adding insult to injury, the malicious worm, once it finds your email address in the address book of an infected user, also cycles your address into the From: header on its emails. This causes mail servers trying to fight this worm to send me an email saying that I’ve sent them a virus, doubling the network slowdown, and filling my inbox to the brim with junk.

Luckily, I was able to set up a filter on my mail program to automatically delete the bulk of the worm-sent emails.

Adding the cost of bandwidth and the loss of productivity for hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of computer users, this is more than a huge pain, it’s an enormous cost to the business community.

The kicker is, we’re largely helpless to stop malicious programmers from releasing them into the wild. I can only remember the creators of the “I love you” virus and the “Melissa virus” ever even being caught. The charges brought against the creator of the “I love you” virus were eventually dropped.

If we ever do catch the creator of this particular virus, I’m thinking jail isn’t enough. I’m thinking something involving of a pair of pliers and a blowtorch, but that’s just me.

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