Well, surprise, Kama
Sutra was a big bust, so to speak (pun intended). I was concerned at first
about this first big worm of the new year as I saw reports on the number of
infected computers, but most anti virus vendors were rating this a low-level
threat and the virus was known and in AV update packages long before the
trigger date so, while concerned, I certainly didn?t panic my clients.
But I can trace the exact moment
when I knew it was going to be a bust ? the morning of February 3 when I saw the first national
TV news report on Kama Sutra - when it was too late to
do anything about preparing for it by installing AV software or updating
In case you hadn?t noticed, TV
news is in the business of scaring people and is very self-absorbed. After some
news organizations were taken down by malware because they didn?t take any
precautions, newsrooms are now hypersensitive to the threat.
Don?t agree? Well, how else do
you explain the incredible amount of coverage given to an injured TV talking
head when he and his cameraman were injured in Iraq ?
There was more time devoted to them than to all the injured or dead Iraqis AND
all the injured and dead military personnel in the entire previous week!
TV folks are always announcing
that so and so is off on assignment, or caught a cold, or is having a baby or know
someone who did. Who cares? They, including the weather person who mostly
reports what already happened or what you can see by looking out a window, do
little but wear makup and read news reported by other people who actually go out and find
facts. That and chat among themselves trying to seem more interesting than all those other talking heads.
If you scare people enough, they
will be very certain to watch every news program to see what new threat is coming.
This makes it difficult to separate real threats such as avian flu or failing
schools (which are mostly the fault of governments), from artificial threats
such as home invasions or random shootings which are actually extremely rare
with violent crime dropping steadily for nearly a decade!
Likewise, you seldom see a report on TV
about the real threats to computer security from insiders, or social
engineering, or the dangers of donating computers to charity without removing
the hard drives, or the dangers to privacy posed by poorly designed software.
Of course I reported in my column
about the Kama Sutra/Blackmal threat and many here on
TechRepublic covered the threat. It would have been irresponsible not to pass
along a warning because we cover all IT threats here and Kama
Sutra did have the potential to be dangerous. The difference is that we cover
the REAL threats also.
Don?t forget what I said about
this worm in my Locksmith Column back on January 30,
?I just don't know how dangerous
this new threat is. However, I suspect it won't amount to much because it's
already in the virus signature databases of most antivirus programs.
Keep your head down and maintain your security software!
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