Thursday, August 21, 2003

Welcome to the Web! It's a Bloody MESS!

MSNBC on the latest wonderful package of joy from the world of the forever-children known as hackers:

One reason for the volume of e-mails generated is that the e-mail messages by which the virus spreads are forged to appear to come from genuine Internet users. Many anti-virus systems respond by sending an automatic alert back to the Internet user, telling them they are infected. Users whose e-mail addresses have been thus forged can then receive hundreds of these virus alerts, adding to Internet traffic jams.

MessageLabs chief technology officer Mark Sunner also said the virus was helped along because it essentially had e-mail software built in. Previous ones relied on existing software packages such as Microsoft’s Outlook and did not spread as quickly among users of rival e-mail software.

Anti-virus experts think the author may be using the worm to construct an elaborate network of hijacked computers that can be used to send spam.

The Sobig virus spreads when unsuspecting computer users open file attachments in e-mails that contain such familiar headings as "Thank you," "Re: Details" or "Re: approved."

Once the file is opened, Sobig scours the computer for e-mail addresses, checking in Word documents, Internet logs and e-mail inboxes. Designed like mass-mailing spam programs, it then sends scores of messages to the addresses it has collected.

Earth to governments: it's time to put real, vicious teeth into anti-hacking laws. Otherwise we will wake up one day soon and have no web at all - guaranteed.

Great article over at the Washington City Paper dealing with so-called liberal press and their mysterious and continuing support for Operation Iraqi "Freedom:"

When faced with the prewar deceptions of the Bush administration, the Post editorial board reacted just like a disenchanted '00s liberal: It blamed Al Gore.

A bit of background: In early August, Gore gave a speech at New York University criticizing the Bush administration for amassing phony evidence to support various foreign, environmental, and economic policies. "The very idea of self-government depends upon honest and open debate....The Bush Administration routinely shows disrespect for that whole basic process, and I think it's partly because they feel as if they already know the truth and aren't very curious to learn about any facts that might contradict it," said Gore, who spoke with particular passion about the administration's case for war.

In an Aug. 10 editorial, the Post attacked not the people responsible for fraud, but the guy who was calling public attention to it. Saying that Gore "validated just about every conspiratorial theory of the antiwar left," the piece hammered the former veep for his contention that "we were all somehow bamboozled into war."

Funny thing: The Post's editorialists were mocking Gore's bamboozle argument on the same day that its reporters were documenting the bamboozlement. In the Aug. 10 news pages, reporters Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus laid out the utter mendacity of the Bush administration's nuclear case. Amid new revelations about how the Bushies misled the public about Hussein's nuclear capability, the reporters noted, "The possibility of a nuclear-armed Iraq loomed large in the Bush administration's efforts to convince the American public of the need for a preemptive strike."

Yet over on the editorial page, a different worldview—an ass-covering worldview—prevailed...

It surely did, as I and several others pointed out at the time. Read it and shrug.


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