Your shout! On finding a way to avoid worms and viruses

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On finding a way to avoid worms and viruses.

In response to Simon Moores, who asked whether the only real way to avoid computer viruses and worms is to unplug the internet and not use Microsoft software

Worms are good for us. If, as Simon Moores said, Symantec is tracking thousands of vulnerabilities in software around the world, then viruses are simply doing their job.

Eventually, just as in nature, systems will build defences against attack and I suspect the rate of evolution in computer systems is such that this will happen a lot sooner than Moores seems to think.

The most interesting and encouraging bit of news is your report that someone has released a virus that fixed the damage caused by Blaster and attempted to download the Microsoft patch to prevent re-infection.

I found the reactions of the computer security gurus amusing, to say the least, and also rather shortsighted. It's a jungle out there and we need some of the wild beasts on our side.

David Simpson



I was online for about 20 minutes before msblast.exe was quarantined by my antivirus software.

Maybe it is time businesses started taking other operating systems more seriously. I would not want to run any mission-critical apps on the Windows platform.

In future, more malicious viruses could alter critical databases and the damage may go unnoticed for months, if not years. The cost of this to businesses would be unimaginable.

Michael Manship



I do not think it is inevitable that UK companies will suffer regular network overloads in the future.

We need to better educate people about the importance of network security and how it should be everybody's duty to ensure it is properly implemented.

Moono



Sobig appeared to cripple my ISP (BT Openworld broadband) yesterday morning, denying me access and use of my e-mail account until 3.30pm.

When I eventually managed to get through to customer support they seemed very stressed and were unable to offer assistance.

BT's servers still appeared to be struggling well into the evening; e-mail remained slow and access was hit and miss.

I regularly check for patches, keep my virus software updated and have avoided infection so far. However, if your ISP goes down, there is not much you can do about it.

Richard Ayres



Building operating systems that allow any user to run code with full access to the file system makes sense for standalone PCs that will never be networked, but not for networked machines. For these you need something with multiple levels of security and trustedness, such as Unix. That is an intrinsic cure for Sobig right there: no admin authority should execute code for arbitrary programs.

Charles Arthur

On whether outsourcing will harm UK IT workers

More thoughts in response to Simons Moores who said that outsourcing technology jobs will eventually lead to a decline in the UK economy

The software industry is no different to any other. Virtually every industry has outsourced production since the days of British rule in India.

The clothing and textile industry did it, so it is obvious technology would follow.

IT workers in the UK need to think about their strengths and exploit them instead of licking their wounds and feeling sorry for themselves - re-invent!

James Magee



Does this not sound very similar to the coal, shipbuilding, steelworks, clothing and manufacturing situations?

No government ever stepped in to protect any of those areas, so why would they do so for IT?

Andy Murdock

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