August 2003 Archives
August 19, 2003

Email explosion


Today I received no less than 430 email messages, generated either by the Sobig.F virus or by mail servers responding to fake messages sent on my behalf. Luckily Apple's Mail junk filter put most of them in the Junk folder. It's incredible however the amount of wasted bandwidth eaten by all these messages: each of the virus generated messages are around 100kb, and I have about 100 such messages!

I also noticed automated replies from Opera's customer support Web application: the poor guys must have their database full with junk problem reports!

After TCP/IP, SMTP is yet another example of a protocol that puts too much trust on the user. I think these protocols have to be redesigned to prevent the kind of attacks that are possible today. Ability to authenticate a sending MTA or MUA could prevent the kind of forgeries that happen today with junk mail, including that generated by viruses.

Posted by ovidiu at 11:59 PM |
August 18, 2003

Power grid down because of virus?

There are lots of speculations about the powergrid being brought down by a remotely triggered virus. I just found this Frontline episode on PBS:

This episode was published back in April 2003.

On the Bugtraq mailing list there is a discussion going on about exactly this. There are two interesting comments: one and two. It seems that the core systems controlling the power grid are running Windows OLE and DCOM applications, the last being the target of the attack of MSBlast.

Posted by ovidiu at 12:34 AM |
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