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LinuxPlanet: The Real Lessons of ILOVEYOU

May 09, 2000, 18:38 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)

[ Thanks to Kevin Reichard for this link. ]

"There are some extremely important lessons to be learned from ILOVEYOU and its clones, and the computer professional who fails to notice them now will surely be taught them more forcefully later. Here are a few of the more important ones:"

"The Visual Basic scripts that did all the damage did the damage only on machines running Microsoft software. They were able to do the damage only because Microsoft added that capability as a "feature." As it happens, the architecture of the Windows operating system is such that it is particularly vulnerable to malicious attacks of this sort; Linux, the other Unices, and the MacOS isolate the user from the system such that damage is minimized, unless the system administrator has intentionally defeated security safeguards."

"Despite all the reported damage, ILOVEYOU was an amateurish script. ... f this is what child vandals can do, what do you suppose real experts could do? How do you know they aren't already doing it? How do you know they aren't already doing it to you? If you think some virus scanner or flimsy firewall with its default settings maintained will protect you or your company, you are probably wrong."

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