The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Photo Friday

[Photo Friday: Aged]


“ … and I'll be taking these mainframes with me … ”

Australian authorities have ordered an urgent review of security at Sydney's international airport after the theft of two mainframe computers from a restricted customs area.

It is believed they were taken by two men posing as technicians at the end of August.

Airport theft shocks Australia

How do you “steal” not one, but two mainframes?

A mainframe.

We're not talking a PC here, nor even something like a typical server, but a mainframe. These are not small machines—these are honking large machines the size of industrial refridgerators.

Or larger.

When you mention mainframe, I'm thinking something a bit larger than the Sun Fire 15K (which may or may not be a mainframe).

And two guys just waltzed out with two of them.

Unless the reporter mistook “server” for “mainframe,” which I find more believable …

“Raise shields! Prepare for impact!”

Our analysis of Internet virus activity, shows that on September 11th next, an advanced worm attack is set to infiltrate the Internet and could potentially halt email traffic worldwide. We need to act now.

Via 0xDECAFBAD, Superworm To Storm The Net On 9/11

You know, if only it were possible to ban and delete all copies of Microsoft Lookout! Outlook or Microsoft Lookout! Exploit Outlook Express, things like this wouldn't happen. Couldn't happen.

I remember back when Code Red and Nimba (back in 2001 and machines are still infected) code was posted that would allow one to remotely crash an infected machine (using pretty much the same exploit that allowed the machine to be infected in the first place) to stop the spread. The legal analysis was that such code was illegal to use (sadly) leaving one with not much recourse other than sucking up the wasted bandwidth, or just going ahead and crashing the damned machines anyway and hope you didn't get caught.

I think the best practice to come out of this was LeBrea, a program that would basically stop an infected machine by slowing down its network connection (by accepting a connection from an infected machine, then keep the connection alive, but transmit nothing back, keeping the infected machine stuck), but alas, it is no longer being distributed due to so called Super-DMCAs, being pushed by the MPAA to basically prevent anyone from using a computer (well, they don't come right out and say that, but … ).


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