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Virus outlook: Bigger trouble ahead

Discussion in 'Seasoned Tokers' started by Bud Head, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. Virus outlook: Bigger trouble ahead

    By Matthew Broersma
    ZDNet (UK)
    January 3, 2003, 8:34 AM PT

    The year 2002 may have been a relatively quiet for virus attacks, but security experts say that this is likely to be the calm before the storm. In 2003, they say, new breeds of computer attacks are likely to emerge that are capable of knocking out millions of computers around the Internet in a matter of minutes.

    "These techniques are now being discussed, and algorithms are being made available," said Mikko Hypponen, manager of anti-virus research at F-Secure. "It's just a matter of time before somebody tries them out in the real world."

    The concepts under discussion, Hypponen said, are known as a Warhol worm--so called because it could create a huge outbreak in 15 minutes--and a flash worm, which could do the same thing in 15 seconds.

    "The typical reaction time to a major new incident is two to three hours. If (the attack) takes 15 minutes, you have no chance," Hypponen said.

    Experts have different theories as to why there have been fewer major virus attacks in 2002 than the previous year, but there is no denying that the difference has been marked. F-Secure ranked nine attacks in 2001 as Level 1--the most serious ranking--but only two as of late 2002. In 2001 there were 43 Level 2 attacks, dropping to 13 by late 2002.

    "What's special was 2001. That was by far the worst year in history. Out of the 10 largest virus cases ever, seven of them happened (in 2001)," Hypponen said. "This year has been a bit quiet, but it has not been that different from 2000."

    He argues that tougher anti-terrorism legislation in the wake of the 11 September attacks has had some impact on how virus writers behave, and noted that more attacks began to show up beginning around 11 September, 2002. A September 11-themed virus was found, though it did not make headlines, and shortly afterwards the destructive Slapper and Bugbear worms hit the Internet.

    Upping the ante
    Eric Chien, chief researcher for Symantec Security Response, argues that cybercriminals have been struggling throughout 2002 to deal with the advances made in virus destructiveness in late 2001. "There used to be things like Loveletter, which were script viruses written in plain English text. Script kiddies were copying them, modifying them and distributing new variants," he said. "But with Code Red and Nimda, those things are difficult to create. You have to understand the code underlying them, low-level things like assembly code and operating systems. It's harder now to get the fame and glory."

    An innovation of Nimda and Code Red was that they did not rely on users downloading and executing an e-mail attachment. "They use hacker exploits in combination with viruses so that they can execute on their own. You can now be infected without your downloading anything or knowing anything about it," said Chien. "Really what has happened is that the bar has risen on how fast and how hard viruses can hit."

    The Linux-based Slapper worm included an innovation that is likely to reappear in a more dangerous form in the future: it establishes a peer-to-peer network among affected servers, enabling a hacker to take over the servers and use them to attack another Web location--known as a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). Another watermark security event in 2002 was the attack on the root servers of the domain name system (DNS), which translates Web domain names such as zdnet.co.uk into numeric Internet protocol addresses.

    While the attack caused little damage, security experts say it was probably just a test. "It was a rather trivial attack... and all but four of the servers went down," Chien said. "In the past, corporations were worried about their e-mail server, but today that's the least of their worries. If there are no packets going across the Atlantic, it doesn't matter if your e-mail server is up or down."

    Being neighborly on the Internet
    While the bar has risen for what constitutes a really dangerous virus, it has also become more difficult for the simpler generation of e-mail-borne script viruses to succeed, experts argue. This is partly because users are more wary of what they click on, and partly because of more aggressive antivirus measures by ISPs and companies.

    "In 2000, Loveletter was the largest ever virus case. It wouldn't be as successful today, because at least some users have a clue. They know they shouldn't be clicking on a VBScript attachment."

    Some companies have begun filtering Internet content much more closely, dropping all VBScript files and .bat files, as well as detecting strange patterns of e-mail traffic that could be the signs of a spreading virus.

    More far-reaching virus remedies include Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), which prevents the "spoofing", or faking, of e-mail headers, and self-healing computer systems that spontaneously react to attacks. But these will not be really effective until they are universal, which could take years.

    In the mean time, the best protection against new generations of attacks will have to be education, says Symantec's Chien. "We are no longer responsible only for our own machine," he said. "If you're connected to the Internet, you need to be a good neighbor. Some home users on ADSL aren't concerned about viruses, but their machine could be leveraged to attack someone else. Users have to learn that they're responsible for the Internet as a whole."
  2. Eh... if my computer breaks that just means I'll have more time to smoke ganj :D
  3. Trust this IT Manager when I say that 2003 will probably be the worst year for viruses that we've seen yet. :( No fun when you have my job.
  4. hmmm... if my computer breaks my dad can fix it. so i'm not really that worried. lol. i do need to start backing up my files though just incase ;)
  5. yea man my computer has been really messed up latley it sucks
  6. I came here to say that I put half a popsicle in my bong and fired it up, and it tasted real nice. Had to read some depressing sh*t.

  7. Just the kinda stuff i enjoy reading. :) ~ freaking viruses

  8. Facts about viruses

    #1 Software companies pay people to come up with viruses..

    #2 People create viruses just to piss others offf...

    #3 fuckheads are bored!
  9. i agree with you there dirtyd... a lot has been lost to technology, and it needs to be fixed. but ya know how the world works... it will probably go down the road to self-destruction no matter what those who know otherwise have to say.
  10. i disagree ... i love technology .. and cant wait to see what new comes about ... who cares if i dont know how to pluck a chicken or rabit ... i know how to build a computer instead... simply a trade off in skills ...

    and those little bitches love to hack for the sheer thrill of it ... some people really enjoy it ... ofcourse this does not justify it however ...
  11. if i had a choice between 100 acres of land, clear, clean, non polluted land, and my computer...i would take the virgin land.

    i live in the country, and kinda know how it is...i do hunt, skin deer, rabbits, know how to do some plumbing, i know how to do REAL skills..and yeah, i love getting on here and jackin with you people
  12. Hatebreeder,

    Here is a good explanation for you on the differences between a cracker and a hacker.

    The definition of a cracker is one who attempts to break into a system via cracking/guessing user passwords. Most of the crackers are young teenage punks who are very malicious and seek to get their kicks from destroying or alternating data on a system. The media often times mistakes the cracker for the hacker. Also note that a cracker's level of education/intelligence on the system and its inner workings is very low.

    The hacker on the other hand is an individual who yearns for knowledge. The hackers are very knowledgeable individuals. They often times know several programming languages, work extensively with the inwards and outwards of UNIX/LINUX, have a firm understanding of all the TCP/IP implementations and protocols. They keep abreast on all the security related issues involving computers. Breaking into a system for a hacker is a thrill, it is a challenge that they take on. The hacker takes much delight in exploring the system from the outside/inside searching vigorously for misconfigurations, bugs, and holes in the operating system that would allow them to break into a machine. Once in the system, the challenge has been completed and they have succeeded in breaking in. IT IS AGAINST HACKER ETHICS TO ALTER ANY DATA ASIDE FROM THE LOGS THAT ARE NEEDED TO CLEAN THEIR TRACKS. They have no need or desire to destroy data as the malicious crackers. They are there to explore the system and learn more. The hacker has a constant yearning and thirst for knowledge that increases in intensity as their journey progresses.

    If that doesn't clear things up for ya, let me know. I've been around computers all my life, I'm an IT Manager/Network Administrator, and a former hacker. Chances are if you have any more questions I can answer them for ya. :)
  13. If that doesn't clear things up for ya, let me know. I've been around computers all my life, I'm an IT Manager/Network Administrator, and a former hacker. Chances are if you have any more questions I can answer them for ya.

    THANK FUCK FOR THAT!....hey indiana if i knew you were a programmer i would have asked this before.....what is Hack Took?....i have kaspersky and it detects something called Hack Took W.32 hotmail hack....i've tried deleting it....cleaning it.....i've searched for it's location when kaspersky gives it to me....but when i do it changes from the whole text i entered in the search box to hotmail.exe....and there is nothing there!!.....this all happened when my zonealarm went wonky and i'm downlosding a new version which i'll have up tonight, i've looked for it on astalavista and still nothing....but it's pissing me off....can you help me?.....Peace out....Sid

  14. Sid,

    I haven't heard of hack took off the top of my head. But that doesn't mean all that much. :) There's hundreds of thousands of virsus. If you could PM me the exact message you are getting, I could help you out further. I have several contacts around the computer security industry that should be able to help you. I'll poke around with the info you gave me, but please post the exact message (in PM for privacy reasons) and I'll be able to help you out better.
  15. no probs....gimme a while though....i'll have to run the scanner to get the exact info....Peace out....Sid
  16. I'm guessing this pc is running Windows_Me. The _Restore directory is where Me keeps backups in case the user corrupts the current setup. You need to de-activate the restore mode in Me before you can fix the problem. Then bootup in SAFE mode. Delete everything in the "Temporary Internet Files" Directory, even Content.IE5. The go to the _Restore directory and delete everything in it also. _Restore directory is hidden so turn on hidden files in folder options.

    To turn off System Restore

    Open System properties in Control Panel.
    Click the Performance tab, and then click File System.
    Click the Troubleshooting tab, and then make sure the Disable System Restore check box is checked.
  17. Basically think of crackers as Sauroman, lead by evil
    Hackers are more like Gandalf, holding up the light to those that need guidance
  18. my lungs are high.
  19. hey indiana... ever here of something called Xupiter? it just kinda appeared on my computer one day (i'm guessing from an auto-DL from some site or another). it shows up in my IE View => Tool Bars, and i tried deleting the folder by cutting and pasting it somewhere else, but it keeps telling me that i can't delete it because 2 of the files are being used by windows. any suggestions on how i can get rid of these?
  20. maybe we should start a computer help forum, that maybe indiana and a couple other computer literate people here might be able to mod.

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