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June 2004

Unintentional benefits: Attackers force search for better Trojan virus protection

Everyone should applaud last month's arrest of Sven Jaschan, the German wunderkind who created the Sasser worm. It's a tremendous victory, to be sure, for digital G-men who rarely get their malware-creating man. Without a doubt, there's no justification for creating and releasing malicious code like Sasser. The standard defense of "I was only trying to improve security by showing companies how weak their security is," is bunk. Viruses and worms cost corporations hundreds of millions of dollars each year in AV defenses and inflict billions of dollars in damages. Nevertheless, we're compelled to recognize the benefits for the enterprise community of the rapid-fire release of new viruses and worms. Many security teams are paying more attention to vulnerability announcements, intelligence reports and patch releases than in years past. Gone are the days when security crews could leisurely update their defenses. Last summer's Blaster worm appeared just 26 days after the release of the RPC-DCOM vulnerability. Jaschan's Sasser was in ...

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