North American Network Operators Group

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Fixing stuff (was Re: short Botnet list and Cashing in on DoS)

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Sat Oct 09 07:05:46 2004

On Sat, 9 Oct 2004, Gadi Evron wrote:
> And I know people who mail abuse reports for hundreds of such *lists*,
> something /rarely/ gets done.

Easily over 1 million computers are being fixed every year.

But compared to the success rate of the bot writers, the anti-bot tools
fall far behind.  Some people estimate between 10 million and 30 million
new bots have been created this year.  That number is probably a bit low,
China was estimating 58% of business computers were infected. Heck, even
Bill Gate's PC was compromised by mal-ware. I wonder if he fixed his
computer himself, or had someone do it for him.
  Now I know exactly what you're thinking. Why not just skip the drama and
  move back into the dorms? Well, I don't know if I could stand another
  year of Resnet, CIT, and the kill-me-please psychological repercussions
  of both fiendish institutions. Twelve hours spent on hold for PC
  support and virus cleaning that eventually led to the total erasure of
  my entire hard drive a week before finals? I think that particular
  escapade, like death, classifies as one of those rare, once-in-a-lifetime
  experiences that I will never want to go through again.

Masking infections is only a partial answer.  As long as the computer is
compromised, it can be taken over again in new ways.  Going from fixing a
million PCs a year to fixing 30 million (and probably more) PCs a year,
needs to move beyond just sending complaints.

Why don't people want to fix their computers?  And even worse, why are
so many people unsuccessfull fixing their computers?  If it was as simple
as making more lists, the problem would be solved.  Lots of people are
making lists, and the problem still hasn't been solved.  So perhaps we
need something new. There needs to be easy, non-technical things ordinary
users can do to fix their computers, without losing all their files and
spending hours on the phone with tech support.  If virus writes are smart
enough to infect their computers with one-click, perhaps the good guys
can come up with ways to fix their computer with one-click.

Sorry Grandma, you've just lost all the digital pictures of your
grandkids growing up.