Ade Ward on Mon, 15 May 2000 17:38:51 +0200 (CEST)

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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

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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