BALTIMORE SUN: "Viruses still a concern" - 'Concern has been heightened because hackers can disguise viruses as Y2K fixes'greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Viruses still a concern
By SEAN SOMERVILLE
THE BALTIMORE SUN
Tuesday, January 04, 2000
Confident their computer systems are prepared for 2000, many companies have shifted their attention to another threat: the viruses expected to accompany the new year. Concern has been heightened because hackers can disguise viruses as Y2K fixes, easing entry into a computer network.
Network Associates Inc., an anti-virus software maker, said it discovered a dozen targeted attacks that were supposed to go off around the new year.
It anticipates a flurry of attempts to create viruses through Jan. 15. "We're calling it the Super Bowl of virus writers," said Sal Viveros, group manager for McAfee Total Virus Defense at Network Associates.
The stakes for business are high and growing. In the first half of 1999, companies and home computer users experienced about $7.6 billion in damage as a result of viruses, compared with $1.5 billion in the first half of last year, according to Computer Economics, an Internet technology research company.
Two Y2K viruses that have received the most attention are W.32.Mypics.Worm and W95.Babylonia. The first comes as an e-mail attachment disguised as a picture. Once opened, it's programmed to change homepage settings to pornographic sites and wipe out hard drives.
The second virus, known as Babylonia, poses as a Y2K fix. Once it's executed, the virus waits until a personal computer is connected to the Internet. Then, it downloads several files from a Web site in Japan that could wipe out a hard drive.
Some experts say the federal conviction this month of David Smith in the "Melissa" virus case might deter some writers from creating Y2K viruses.
No one is sure how systems will be affected around the new year. "Anybody who says they know is lying," said Mark D. Rasch, a former federal prosecutor who works as a lawyer for Reston, Va.-based Global Integrity. He said writing viruses "is a solitary activity. Anybody can do it. The question is how well."
-- John Whitley (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 09, 2000
No one or group will accept RESPONSIBILITY for y2k problems.
-- Ray (email@example.com), January 09, 2000.
Relevant to the thread. Mailbox change. Original address was inactivated?
-- mike in houston (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 09, 2000.
Really appreciate all the articles you put in here, am puter stupid, but I love to read them, are You the same john as the nwo? or are u different? I try to digest everything and make up my own mind, so it don't really matter, except I am curious. Salene
-- salene (email@example.com), January 09, 2000.