Cuper Scooper: Killer Speed

Cuper Scooper: Killer Speed

Selene Rubino

The Conficker cabal takes on a shady cybercriminal group in Eastern Europe.

This is the stuff of Gundam and Dragonball Z: On February 12, Microsoft announced the creation of an international computer security alliance to combat the spread of Conficker, a malicious worm capable of turning millions of computers into zombies that provide networks to support a self-propagating botnet.

Awesome.

Actually, I should be more worried. What this all means is the Conficker malware is capable of finding IP addresses or credit card numbers on infected PCs to sell to spam websites, or even (according to the New York Times) disrupting the Internet itself.

Yeah, definitely awesome.

The Internet is inexhaustible, accessible, and has a very simple user interface. But the same qualities that make it such a good tool also make it unsafe.

Antivirus softwares are intrinsically outdated: they can only respond to the latest worms and viruses. At best, protective software can beat back the newest, most harmful malware. At worst, flaunted (and annoying) automatic updates fail to screen out the sheer amount of evolved, malicious software.

Most government and corporate networks take advantage of "gated" internet communities, however, even the most secure of these are occasionally broken into.

So far, security solutions tend to the side of surveillance rather than a structural change, due to the enormity of such a change. But there have been a few efforts to change the way the Internet itself works. Windows and Macintosh computers can support IPv6, a kind of stronger safer Internet 2.0.

Perhaps the future will bring a newer, safer form of the Internet, but for now I'll be contented with mild protection. The Internet is like a car. It's fast and convenient, but has some serious safety issues. Maybe better safety features can be invented. At the heart of it, though, you just have to be a good driver.

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Selene's rules for Internet safety:
1. Delete all spam
2. Do not click on shady advertisements or links
3. Do not open suspiciously titled or addressed email
4. Use complicated, caps-using, number-including passwords

5. Trust Google's filter (green means safe, red means not, question mark means nobody visits the site either way)