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August 15, 2003

Worm Fall Out

Despite making calls, sending emails and IMs to close friends and family, and posting several warnings about the Windows DCOM/RPC Remote Exploitation and the MSBlaster Worm on this blog, I'm still fielding requests for help. All but one of the requests are from people that didn't bother to download and install the updates.

I decided early on that everyone that called on me for help would get only the following recommendations from me:
1) Try the W32/Blaster Recovery Tips that CERT is providing. If it is too difficult to follow those instructions on your own, then I charge $90 an hour (plus travel time.)
2) If that doesn't work and you don't want to pay, then insert that handy dandy Restore CD-ROM that came with your computer. You know, its the one that formats the drive and reinstalls windows and everything to its original factory state. So say good bye to your data if you don't have backups!
3) Get a firewall and anti-virus, and set up backup routine aka the stand precautions.
4) Update Windows. If you have get a "cryptographic service error" when updating see this article.

That might sound like cold advice to some but I think its an important lesson for people to learn if they want to own a computer and use the internet. Everyone that ignored the warnings will now have to live with the consequences. I don't care if your computer keeps rebooting. I don't care if you lost data. I don't care if you lost the 'big report' and may lose your job. This is what happens when you ignore security warnings and don't follow the standard precautions. Thats life, you made bad decisions, now you have to deal with the consequences.

I don't believe the power outage that affected most of North America could have been caused by these worms but that doesn't mean a worm couldn't easily do something like this in the future. Especially if everyone's computers are unprotected again, the worm is carefully and skillfully written, and spreads unnoticed. You could have a scenario where the worm is designed to silently infect systems and wait until a predefined date or ping before it starts its attack against important systems. This is just another reason why its so important for everyone to take their computer's security so seriously. If you don't you are not only risking your computer's data, you could be aiding terrorists.

Posted in Computing & Tech News , Microsoft & Windows by usrbingeek at 2003-08-15 15:05 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink


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