Other
Commentary
7/10/2006
11:10 AM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
50%
50%

The March Of Malware

In This Issue:

1. Editor's Note: The March Of Malware
2. Today's Top Story
     - Researchers Break Down NAC Defenses
3. Breaking News
     - Intel's $600 Million Clearwire Investment Shows Its WiMax Commitment
     - Office 2007 Delay Leaves Some Companies Out In The Cold
     - Microsoft To Cooperate In Building Office OpenDocument Support
     - eBay's PayPal President Steps Down
     - Microsoft Hit With Second Spyware Suit
     - In Depth: What You Need To Know About SOA Management Suites
     - Defense Witness In UBS Trial Says Not Enough Evidence To Make Case
     - Microsoft Fills Out 'Atlas' Web Development Framework
     - Music Groups To Take Russian Download Site AllofMP3.com To U.K. Courts
     - Yahoo China Fights Back Against Music Industry Group
     - New Technology Preserves HD DVD Quality
     - National Semi Downplays iPod Flap
4. Grab Bag
     - The Not-So-Small Small Screen (New York Times - reg. required)
     - Street Gangs Get Web-Savvy (CNN.com)
     - Preventing Movie Piracy (Technology Review)
5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech
     - Microsoft To Launch iPod Rival By Christmas
     - Review: GreenBorder Pro Brings Safer Browsing To Internet Explorer
     - Vista And The Hardware Monster, Part 1
     - Why You've Never Heard Of The Best Phone Ever
     - Wireless PCs Motivate Students, Says Study
6. Voice Of Authority
     - The 'Bumbling Bully' Gets Its Due
7. White Papers
     - The Business Of Online Support
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote Of The Day:
"After all, just one virus on a computer is one too many." — Glenn Turner


1. Editor's Note: The March Of Malware

A friend called me the other day. She's an independent bookkeeper who works for many small businesses, usually in their offices on their computers. She's often their first line of tech support, even though that falls way outside her job description.

One of her clients' computers had been acting funny. She loaded up some anti-virus software, and sure enough it told her the machine had a Trojan. She cleaned it, restarted, and there was the Trojan again. A few attempts later, the Trojan was still there. That's when she called me.

I assured her she'd done exactly what she should have and advised her to call in her client's professional tech support person. She gave a dissatisfied sigh and asked, "Why would anyone do this?"—why would anyone write and distribute malicious software? I didn't have a good answer.

What I do know is that malware has gotten much more dangerous in the past 20 years. Early PC viruses weren't particularly harmful, and they spread via floppy disks—that is, slowly. Then they started to get smarter, attacking different types of programs, self-mutating to avoid detection, and encrypting themselves to make removal difficult. But still, they were outside the knowledge of the general public.

That changed with the much-hyped Michelangelo virus, set to strike on the anniversary of the painter's birthday in 1992. I didn't get the virus—at that time I was still safely working on a CompuGraphic typesetting machine rather than a PC. (Hard to believe, isn't it?)

The first PC virus I caught was 1995's Concept Word macro virus, something I would encounter again and again over the years. It didn't seem to do much and was easy to clean, but it was scary seeing that ominous dialog box pop up telling you your file was infected. Even then I remember thinking, "Why would anyone do this?"

Mass-mailers like Melissa started spreading. We were told, "Don't open suspicious e-mail attachments." Then worms that were triggered simply by opening an e-mail appeared. We were told, "Don't open e-mail messages from anyone you don't know." (That wasn't much of a defense: Since many of these worms used Outlook address books to spread, the messages came from people you knew.)

The list goes on, with each generation of malware outdoing the last. Like a bad accident, it's abhorrent yet fascinating to watch how viruses and worms have evolved over the years. That's why we've put together "20 Years Of PC Viruses," an in-depth package of articles that puts malware under the microscope.

You'll find a history of PC viruses (don't miss the cool Flash timeline), a first-person reminiscence of the early days of virus-fighting, and advice on protecting your business from malware attacks. The most popular story with our readers is "The 10 Most Destructive PC Viruses Of All Time." My favorite segment is the image gallery showing screenshots of some of the more interesting-looking (though often not harmful) viruses over the years.

What was your first encounter with viruses, worms, or other malware? Do you remember Brain, Tequila, or other early viruses, or was your introduction to malware more recent? Share your stories at my blog entry.

Valerie Potter
vpotter@cmp.com


2. Today's Top Story

Researchers Break Down NAC Defenses
A security research team says it has found ways to bypass all network access control systems, no matter which vendor makes them. The researchers will demonstrate their methods at the Black Hat conference later this month.


3. Breaking News

Intel's $600 Million Clearwire Investment Shows Its WiMax Commitment
Intel joins Motorola in backing Clearwire, which owns spectrum to provide wireless broadband connectivity.

Office 2007 Delay Leaves Some Companies Out In The Cold
Some analysts think the delay decreases the value of long-term license deals, particularly Microsoft's Software Assurance and Enterprise Agreement programs.

Microsoft To Cooperate In Building Office OpenDocument Support
Translation tools between OpenDocument Format and Microsoft's Open XML will be posted on SourceForge and freely available, the company says.

eBay's PayPal President Steps Down
The "planned departure" puts Rajiv Dutta in the No. 1 spot to head eBay's PayPal. The division, which has more than 100 million users, reached $1 billion in revenue last year.

Microsoft Hit With Second Spyware Suit
The new lawsuit was filed Friday by two Washington state businesses and three individuals alleging that Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage is installed under false pretenses, without meaningful consent or notification.

In Depth: What You Need To Know About SOA Management Suites
If you're serious about your service-oriented architecture—and you'd better be—you must get your services under control. An SOA management suite can give you the power to enforce operational policies. Here's how.

Defense Witness In UBS Trial Says Not Enough Evidence To Make Case
Kevin Faulkner, forensics investigator, says the lack of mirror image data from the attacked UBS server calls into question exactly what was done and by whom.

Microsoft Fills Out 'Atlas' Web Development Framework
Atlas, Microsoft's .Net-based answer to Ajax, is intended for release in Microsoft's next Visual Studio update, code-named "Orcas," but Microsoft is developing it publicly and with frequent preview releases to encourage earlier adoption.

Music Groups To Take Russian Download Site AllofMP3.com To U.K. Courts
AllofMP3.com offers discounted prices on downloads while failing to pay artists or record companies, opponents claim. But the company's Web site claims its business is legal under Russian copyright laws.

Yahoo China Fights Back Against Music Industry Group
Alibaba.com, which owns the majority of Yahoo China, says it's not an MP3 link site, and it reserves all legal rights regarding damage to its reputation and ongoing business operations.

New Technology Preserves HD DVD Quality
As HD DVD entertainment systems for the home begin to roll out, Thomson's Film Grain Technology aims to improve the visual quality of compressed movies by making it look like the "grain" of the movie is still there.

National Semi Downplays iPod Flap
A spokesman for the chip vendor says the 35 employees who were asked to return their iPods had volunteered for layoffs and knew they were about to leave the company when the devices were issued.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

In the current episode:

John Soat With 'Technology Trade-Off'
IT workers feel confident about job security, 84% of N.A. businesses experienced a computer security break-in, and Google wants net neutrality.

Larry Greenemeier With 'Pharming'
Pharmers are damaging small business—see what's being done to prevent this security problem.

----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Voice Over IP Migration
As VoIP moves to broader deployment, business technology professionals are trying to balance lowering operations costs with increased spending on VoIP technologies. Learn how 300 companies are implementing VoIP in this recent report by InformationWeek Research.

Analyzing The Outsourcers: Global Services
Learn how more than 400 business technology professionals rated six outsourcers in InformationWeek Research's "Analyzing The Outsourcers: Global Services" report. Outsourcer profiles include Accenture, CSC, EDS, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Wipro.

-----------------------------------------

4. Grab Bag

The Not-So-Small Small Screen (New York Times - reg. required)
The title of maker of the biggest screen will constantly change hands, but one thing is certain: TVs will keep getting larger.

Street Gangs Get Web-Savvy (CNN.com)
Some of the country's most notorious street gangs have gotten Web-savvy, showcasing illegal exploits, making threats, and honoring killed and jailed members on digital turf.

Preventing Movie Piracy (Technology Review)
Researchers are developing tools to thwart the copying of films in theaters.


5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech

Microsoft To Launch iPod Rival By Christmas
The player will let users download music and videos over the air, according to one source, a feature that could give it an edge over the iPod.

Review: GreenBorder Pro Brings Safer Browsing To Internet Explorer
This interesting utility puts your browser in a protective bubble so that nothing can touch your system while you surf.

Vista And The Hardware Monster, Part 1
Will Vista really require more hardware than the space program? Or can you install it on a computer made mostly of spare parts?

Why You've Never Heard Of The Best Phone Ever
If you're under the age of 60 and have good hearing, you've probably never heard of this phone—but the ClearSounds CLC50 Freedom Phone is a great, full-featured landline phone for everyone.

Wireless PCs Motivate Students, Says Study
Students are self-directed and get highly personalized instruction with their own computers and Internet access.


6. Voice Of Authority

The 'Bumbling Bully' Gets Its Due
Matt McKenzie says: Forbes.com once referred to SCO Group as the "Bumbling Bully." Those two words were, and still are, all you really need to know about SCO's behavior over the past three years. This week, however, it was the "bumbling" side of SCO's corporate personality that came to the fore.


7. White Papers

The Business Of Online Support
In their seemingly endless search for the right solutions, today's progressive enterprises increasingly turn to Web-enabled support as the primary means to reduce support costs and increase customer satisfaction. Read about two e-support technologies that will enhance your technical service offering.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

Try InformationWeek's RSS Feed

Discover all InformationWeek's sites and newsletters

Recommend This Newsletter To A Friend
Do you have friends or colleagues who might enjoy this newsletter? Please forward it to them and point out the subscription page.


9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

To unsubscribe from, subscribe to, or change your E-mail address for this newsletter, please visit the InformationWeek Subscription Center.

Note: To change your E-mail address, please subscribe your new address and unsubscribe your old one.

Keep Getting This Newsletter
Don't let future editions of InformationWeek Daily go missing. Take a moment to add the newsletter's address to your anti-spam white list:
InfoWeek@update.informationweek.com

If you're not sure how to do that, ask your administrator or ISP. Or check your anti-spam utility's documentation. Thanks.

We take your privacy very seriously. Please review our Privacy Policy.

InformationWeek Daily Newsletter
A free service of InformationWeek and the TechWeb Network.
Copyright (c) 2006 CMP Media LLC
600 Community Drive
Manhasset, N.Y. 11030

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 16, 2014.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.