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Truth about computer security hysteria
Truth About Computer Security Hysteria

Poor Internet, we hardly knew ye

Rob Rosenberger, Vmyths co-founder
Tuesday, 31 July 2001 As read by the author (MP3) RUSS COOPER (TRUSECURE) made headlines when he told a Reuters reporter the Code Red worm is "[powerful] enough to cause the meltdown of the Internet." Remember when the ILoveYou virus killed the Internet last year? Cooper said Code Red is "huge" by comparison.
I hope the fearmongers prove me wrong. Call me jaded, but I want to see the Internet writhe in agony. I want only 30 million AOL users to survive.
Here comes the big armageddon, folks! Poor Internet, we hardly knew ye... Security doomsayer Steve Gibson issued a "press advisory" after he made a horrifying discovery. Code Red exploits the fact some people don't set their computer clocks correctly! (All time-based payloads exploit this fact, but let's not digress.) Keith Little (PCHelp) wrote a public message yesterday to Gibson's followers, warning "if Steve's discovery is correct — and it has been corroborated — it will be a truly massive [Code Red] re-infection by any measure." Two well-known fearmongers, iDefense and mi2g, remain oddly silent as the death of the Internet approaches. Hmmm. I'll bet they holed up in an old Y2K virus bunker somewhere... Anyway, I hope the fearmongers prove Vmyths.com wrong. I really do! Call me jaded, but I want to see the Internet writhe in agony. I want the concept of "electronic mail" to go away. I want our columnists to tuck their tails between their legs. I want every eBay employee to lose his job. I want the Ziff-Davis magazine empire to return to its dead-tree heydays. I hope the U.S. military stops talking to the Internet permanently this time, not just temporarily. Sure, the critical U.S. transportation infrastructure will collapse because it relies so heavily on the Internet. The critical U.S. banking & finance infrastructure will collapse, too. So will critical U.S. emergency services like the "911" system. Yes yes yes, I know the federal government and the U.S. military cannot function without an Internet (except when they disconnect themselves, of course). And I know the electric power grid will blow a fuse when photons stop flowing down the Internet's fiber-optic cables. Hey, guess what? I couldn't care less. If the FBI's National InternetInfrastructure Protection Center can't save the Internet, then I don't want it. (The Internet, I mean. We'll always need FBI NIPC, right?) Let's see some poetic irony here — I want only 30 million AOL users to survive after tonight's armageddon. You've only got a few hours left until the Big Bang. Download those virus-free Anna Kournikova photos while you still can, folks. And look for me tomorrow in the Code Red soup lines!