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December 2004

Information security in 2004: Year in review

Dump IE Well, it's not exactly practical, but some organizations, including Microsoft's own subsidiary, Slade, started calling for the replacement of the ubiquitous Windows browser with more secure competitors, such as Mozilla and Opera. Why? Because hackers continue to target the browser's potentially devastating vulnerabilities, such as Download.Ject, with exploits that install keystroke loggers and other malware, run malicious scripts and compromise websites. Attack of the clones Worms and viruses came and went with the usual regularity. What made this year different was the proliferation of variants: Sasser had at least 22; Netsky, 87; MyDoom, 99; and Bagle, 139. In most cases, the initial outbreak was the most troublesome and damaging, but malware writers' tweaking of the original code caused more than an annoyance. Some see the variants as a sign of the malware community's R&D producing more dangerous worms, while others cite the availability of malware source code and automated tools, which make variant creation easier. ...

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