Ade Ward on Mon, 15 May 2000 15:51:29 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> (fwd) Worst Nightmares Come Alive

I read your ultimate-virus document on the nettime mailing list. It is very
interesting, and I agree certainly that all of it is possible (although,
perhaps, in slightly different ways than you mention).

A number of thoughts: Generally, we rely upon the common decency of each
other to secure our own environment ('trust'). You briefly touch upon this
with the thought about L0pht and cDc at the end: I believe that virus
writers largely feel a responsibility to only unleash their code to
highlight something which requires serious attention. There is no doubt that
ILOVEYOU was a deliberate attack on the security flaws that Microsoft have
(unwittingly?) built into their products. But to conclude that the aim is to
destroy our current technological state is a little hyperbolical.

What concerns me is that these attacks are seen in the wrong light: the mass
media loves to crucify those responsible. Those attacked do not realise why
they were attacked. In this light, any further development of virus
technology (or attempt to plan a supervirus) would be wasted as what we
really need is proper education and enlightenment. The general public needs
to understood that their choice (sic) of operating system has resulted in
this state of affairs.

Further to this, I believe that restrictive measures (such as banning all
unauthorized programs) are only a half-hearted attempt to resolve the
problem at hand. Awareness of possibilities and suitability of operating
systems will mean that people can start to make informed judgements
regarding their own computer systems.

To this end, I ask that should any such supervirus be unleashed, that
careful consideration is given first to the surrounding media coverage - and
that any such virus would (should) play a major part in increasing awareness
of cause.

// Ade.

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