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Predict Worm Headlines, Win a T-shirt 167

At this moment, there's an office somewhere in Waggener Edstrom with its lights on and a fresh pot of coffee. Microsoft's PR firm is racking its brains working on strategy and tactics for their phone calls tomorrow. As of right now, hundreds of thousands of wormy Microsoft machines are throwing packets at the Bush White House (and missing -- see below). Bill Gates really, really doesn't want Sunday papers editorializing about how shoddy and dangerous his security flaws are. Will billg be the hero or the goat? Slashdot, in its fine tradition of laughing in the face of overworked netadmins, is running a contest. Walk a mile in Waggener Edstrom's shoes, predict the Times's headlines, and win yourself a T-shirt.

Waggener's goal is to minimize the PR damage that the worm will cause. This is potentially a very damaging story for them. Not so much because it underscores the dangers of an insecure, monocultural environment monopolizing our vital networks. Not even because of the embarrassing and ironic nature of the worm. More because it involves a hot button political topic -- Bush and, allegedly, China -- which the average reader will be interested in and might even almost understand.

So what's their battle plan?

Well, first Waggener will try to predict the yield. Our guesstimates as of right now, 11:36 PM EDT Thursday evening, are that it's a dud -- whitehouse.gov is still accessible and my IRC server hasn't gone down. This is probably because whitehouse.gov simply sidestepped its IP address (the stupid worm author hardcoded it instead of using DNS): White House dodges Web worm.

But at least 196,000 machines were infected. You'd think something would happen. Maybe a router will crash and Delaware will fall off the map. Who knows?

Second, Waggener will have an overall strategy. This might range from overhyping the potential danger ("turn off your computers! prepare for Armageddon! oh it didn't happen -- we saved you") to distraction with trivia ("we are pleased with the judges' verdict last week. look over there!"). How will the firm modify our reality?

Third, Waggener will use different approaches on different audiences. Reporters from different tech publications will talk to different handlers, and hear different things. Keep in mind which way these publications lean when you predict what their reactions will be.

Here's the contest. OSDN will be giving away four Slashdot T-shirts (or some other ThinkGeek shirt) to the four readers who most accurately predict newspaper headlines about the "Red Code" worm.

The newspapers of record we're using are the Washington Times and the New York Times. The categories are:

Headline on the Washington Times news story, Saturday morning
(label it: "WT News")
Headline on the New York Times news story, Saturday morning
(label it: "NYT News")
Title of the Washington Times editorial, Sunday morning
(label it: "WT Ed")
Title of the New York Times editorial, Sunday morning
(label it: "NYT Ed")

Type up four guesses and submit them in a comment below. If your guess for any of the four is the closest in its category, you win a T-shirt!

For example, if our contest had been to predict headlines about global warming on July 19, and you'd said:

"WT News: Bush Visits Europe, Says Many Words Correctly
NYT News: Bush Promises Called Into Question
WT Ed: Good News on Global Warming
NYT Ed: Clueless on Global Warming"

...then you'd win, because you guessed the NYT editorial title correctly.

So put on your corporate-PR "spinning" caps, get out there and make us proud!

The Small Print:

  1. Top headline only, you don't have to predict subheads or whatever.
  2. In case of two stories/headlines, we pick the biggest one, our discretion.
  3. Up to four guesses to a post, one for each headline (post early, post often, but slow down cowboy!).
  4. One T-shirt to a person.
  5. Ties go to the f1rst p0st.
  6. No posts after the paper's out, of course (print or electronic, whichever's first) - first edition print is the goal.
  7. No OSDN/VA Linux employees or relatives eligible.
  8. You must either be logged in when you post or include one email address in your comment; email is how we'll contact you for your snail-mail address. Spamarmor it if you like, as long as we can read it.
  9. If for some crazy, absurd reason one of the papers doesn't run a story/editorial about this at all, we'll go looking for a "similar" paper's story/editorial and pick its headline. We're thinking L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, that kind of thing. If the papers actually run stories today (Friday), well, darnit that wasn't much of a contest was it? We'll still look for editorials on Sunday.
  10. All judges' judgments are final.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Predict Worm Headlines, Win a T-shirt

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you go back and look they obviously want to get it from two different perspectives. The New York Times is the bleeding-heart liberal bullshit newspaper which'll make Bush somehow become the bad guy in all of this while the Washington Times will most likely concentrate on Chinese hackers disrupting American capitalism on the net. Quit being such a liberal freak.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Redundant? Say anything that's not anti Microsoft here and some idiot moderates it down!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The reason it says that in the title bar is because that's what IE stores as the site's name in your bookmarks. IE loads the bookmark name immediately, and later rewrites it if the web page's title changes.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As we all know, the greatest tools a human being can use to predict the future would be the tried and true magic 8-ball and a recent development in the form of Cleo (http://www.mindandspirit.com [mindandspirit.com]). Here's what they had to say:

    Cleo said:

    NYT: Earthquake Strikes Southern California WT: Your Girlfriend Is Cheating On Ya NYT Ed: The Tarot Knows WT Ed: Why would Slashdot encourage its readers to attempt to predict the future when most of them can't even tell you what day it is.


    Magic 8-ball:

    NYT: Ask later WT: Definitely NYT Ed: Definitely WT Ed: Maybe

    - antirice Azn Pride
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:09PM (#73264)
    www.wss.net/winupd.jpg
  • by Roblimo ( 357 ) on Friday July 20, 2001 @03:48AM (#73265) Homepage Journal
    Close, bubba, but not quite there. Some clever copyeditor somewhere had better write, "World Wide Web Worm Wars With White House" because it conforms to the old idea of what an ideal news story should contain: Five Ws and an H.*

    - Robin

    *Who, what, when, where, why and how.

  • Too bad the New York Post wasn't one of the papers, you'd have a new wardrobe.
    --
  • From a stock install? I don't know. I use an MS provided tool called uptime.exe [microsoft.com]. It works on NT4SP4 and newer (no Win9x tho').
    Uptime is a simple command line tool that analyzes a single server for reliability and availability information. It can work locally or remotely. In its simple form, the tool will display the current system uptime. An advanced option allows you to access more detailed information such as shutdown, reboots, operating system crashes, and Service Pack installation.
  • My Win2K machine:

    \\HURICANE has been up for: 18 day(s), 8 hour(s), 27 minute(s), 57 second(s)

    I only use this machine for gaming and coding some crossplatform apps. So it's not at all heavily used.

    And compared to my linux box:
    12:16am up 183 days, 3:29, 7 users,

    is nothing. ( Especially since this box is used as for web,ftp and smb file serving, mp3 ripping and cdburning, as well as "some" development work.

    My 2nd Linux Box has been up for 6 days now.. after several kernel oopses while coding drivers.

  • That's fascinating. I am not even up to date on hotfixes... I don't have the MS01-033 fix in place.

    But I followed the guidelines provided by Microsoft for securing a website.

    Results:
    I've been probed about 30 times by systems infected by this worm, and have had no issues.
  • by Helmholtz ( 2715 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:49PM (#73270) Homepage
    Yeah, I know it's a horrible groaner ....
  • Since people at >200000 were no longer trolls. ;)
  • The Washington Times, Rev. Moon's newspaper? Oh well.

    Microsoft aims for DOJ, misses.

    MS effort to shut down "adult" site foiled by hackers.

    But seriously, won't it be something like "Microsoft and White House join together to thwart hackers" ? :-(

  • Some time back, various users started creating accounts that were basically "typosquatting", for instance if someone created Old_Wolf, this would be seen by the system as different and distinct from Old Wolf, as would other variations, such as putting a period at the end of the name.

    The victims of this were, to begin with, some of the higher profile or more controversial Slashdot users, such as CmdrTaco, Hemos, and others, including the real, original, low user ID number, Bruce Perens. Someone created an account that was his name with, as I recall, a period at the end, and, of course, the user ID was a much higher number.

    Apparently enough of the twaddle that they posted was mistaken by some readers for something that the "real" Bruce Perens had written that Bruce decided to do something about it.

    He changed his sig (or added one, I forget which) to something like "The real Bruce Perens has user id # xxxx (except that he put in whatever low user id number he has instead of x's). All others are imposters."

    This, of course, meant that you could compare the user id in the sig to the one in the comment header and know that it was a post by the "real" Bruce, as any other account, even if they duplicated the sig, would have a different, and much higher, id number.

    If I remember right (it's been a while), a few other users came up with similar sigs. Some of them were users who *had* been "impostered". Some merely created humorous sigs satirizing the serious ones.

    Mine was an attempt at self-deprecating humor, i.e., I wasn't important enough to attract the interest of an imposter. I used to have one that said something like "Now that I browse above the default I don't have to put up with as much junk, but I kinda miss seeing my own posts", the implication being that what I posted wasn't ever good enough to get moderated up. (I really don't browse higher than minus one, 'though I often have reason to wish that I had). A lot of people didn't get that one.

    I would be remiss in not noting that at one point someone created an account with a very similar user name as mine and used it to answer one of my posts just so that they could point out that I now *do* have an imposter.

  • No thank you. My time is much more valuable than that.

    No, it is not. Dude, you just posted on Slashdot, after all! :-)

  • My kick-it-in-the-corner-and-forget-about-it NT server has to be rebooted about every 75 days, it's got some kind of FD leak (NT4sp3 -- yeah, it's not the latest SP, but it's only a P166 w/64M, and SP4 just made it unusably slow). I just use it as a file and Oracle server, so it's not an especially busy box, if it were a production machine it'd probably fall over in a couple of weeks. It's slated to be converted over to NetBSD+Samba when my Copious Free Time permits. *Then* we'll see some uptime!
  • I for one have had all the patches installed and STILL been hacked. I keep charts of what is installed and when because my boss demands it...that and I don't want to be caught empty handed when something like this happens.

    After you ran Service Pack 2, you still have to do the hotfixes. Simply remove .ida .idq and .printer from your Applications mappings and you won't have to worry about it again.
  • by Ian Schmidt ( 6899 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:10PM (#73277)
    Ahh, this must be the famous tolerance of the left I keep hearing about.

    And who the hell wasted mod points on this? There's true comedy gold below...
  • I for one have had all the patches installed and STILL been hacked.

    Interesting, could you clarify? Did you get this worm, or do you speak of an unrelated incident?

  • [subhead] Microsoft Opponents Frustrated As Worm Proves Harmless

    MSN will focus on the political issues and try to avoid going anywhere near the 196,000+ systems infected, and similar issues.

    Ummm, if the cracker has any brains (and any malice left) (s)he'll get his nice, fresh list of over two hundred thousand known-vulnerable targets and release a different worm that targets a number of whitehouse systems using a mixture of DNS and IP addresses. And maybe saves itself to disk and restarts on boot.

    Meantime, for the longsuffering ASP dependents, we heartily recommend visiting the ASP2PHP [naken.cc] website. And if you're not using ASP, put IIS+Windows in the bin now and install something decent in its place. Mandrake 8.0 [mandrakebizcases.com] should do.
  • by cabbey ( 8697 )
    but since when did >60000 count as a low uid?
  • best entries in here as of now
  • Compared to the two of you, I'm definitely a johnny-come-lately!
  • by nebby ( 11637 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:11PM (#73283) Homepage
    For all of 'em:

    Chinese "Code Red" Internet Worm misses White House, Microsoft issues fix

    Because of course, this is the most positive way to word it for M$ :)
  • Heh! I know this is a Laugh Its Funny article, but the FUD has already started. Not against the hackers but against the system administrators.

    They are going out of their way in mainstream publications to let it be known that the only reason these servers have been hacked is because of 'lazy' system administrators. They aren't even trying to blame the hackers as that would point to flaws in their system, but those of us that slave to keep their worthless systems up and running.

    I for one have had all the patches installed and STILL been hacked. I keep charts of what is installed and when because my boss demands it...that and I don't want to be caught empty handed when something like this happens.

    And to think my employeers forced me off of Mac WebStar & Unix Boxes running our networks to a standard Windows...
  • WT News: Virus Attacks White House
    NYT News: White House Virus Attack Fizzles
    WT Ed: Virus highlights online threat
    NYT Ed: American systems vulnerable to foreign cyber-attack

    Zolar predicts!
    .

    Send lawyers, guns and money. The shit has hit the fan.
  • Here's the CERT advisory on the worm:
    http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2001-19.html
    Here's the cert advisory on the exploit:
    http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2001-13.html

    Where's it mention Sadmind/IIS? Sadmind/IIS have nothing to do with Code Red, besides the fact they they spread by scanning for IIS servers.

    Yes, everyone and their grandmother need to run patched, secured, hardened boxes, but this particular Sunday, Sun is in the clear...
  • How about "the government is deeply in debt due to evil Reagan economics, so how about taxing all those who made out like bandits at the time"?

  • No, it's OK. it'll cause an infinite loop and crash either MS or the PR firm. It's all good!
  • Like passport.com? Imagine it would be awefully hard to flood that to death unless you were flooding it from other MSN servers.
  • One might also settle for The Onion. They've got the balls to cover any story exactly how it deserves to be covered, no matter how touchy it is politically.
  • Chinese att(h)acker infects whitehouse with deadly virus

    Whitehouse.gov service killed for several hours

  • by Mike Schiraldi ( 18296 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:46PM (#73294) Homepage Journal
    Here's a headline i predict: "Predict Worm Headlines, Win a T-shirt"

    --

  • by Mike Schiraldi ( 18296 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:14PM (#73295) Homepage Journal
    Taco: Okay, Jamie, we're going to use the New York Times and the Washington Post, got it?

    Jamie: Got it. No problem. The Washington Times and the New York Post.

    --

  • Lazy admin? How about we point out that, admins are lazy because Microsoft told everybody keeping these server running is just by few clicks: so every admin just use their brains in something else and neglecting all important aspects of the job.
  • Giant worm eats whitehouse Chinese hackers retaliate for plane They've got the Olympics... and hackers Gee, only the title one is funny. -m
  • by magic ( 19621 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:52PM (#73298) Homepage
    I bet $5 that the virus author:

    1. reads CNN and Slashdot to fluff his/her/its own ego 2. silently thanks all of the kind people for pointing out the two "bugs" of hardcoding the IP instead of using DNS and not flooding if a connection can't be made 3. fixes and redeploys the worm.

    It isn't open source, but decompilation makes everything open source. Isn't it great how the community can improve open source? And who's likely to be more responsive, a sys admin for a MS system or a virus author/copycat?

    C'mon, you know you'd love to see a Microsoft bug take out the whitehouse site, anyhow.

    -m

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @09:15PM (#73299)
    > NYT News: Hackers use virus to attack whitehouse computers.

    No, that will be
    NYT News:
    Chinese Hackers use virus to attack whitehouse computers.


    At any rate, you should expect all the headlines to include Chinese, hackers, cyberwar, and White House, plus however many other words will fit in the column.

    Any editor who doesn't catch all of that should be put out to pasture.

    --
  • the Washington Times will most likely concentrate on Chinese hackers disrupting American capitalism on the net.

    More likely they'll report it never would have happened if the Clinton Justice Department hadn't started harassing that nice company Microsoft.

  • It shouldn't be to hard to go though it. I'm sure 90% of his email is "are you really Bill Gates?"
  • I've heard that too, and it doesn't surprise me that he'd go for the first name thing.

    ISTR that that's a Microsoft convention for email names for employees. billg, steveb, nathanm, etc.

    Now whether that's due to the fiat of their illustrious leader is another question entirely :)
  • C:\> Load new user
    Welcome to the MicroSloth new employee registration program.
    Please enter new username: billg
    I'm sorry. "billg" is taken.
    Might I suggest "billg2001"? : N
    Might I suggest "billgrulz"? : N
    Might I suggest "billg13265"? : N
    Please enter new username: billgatessucks
    I'm sorry. "billgatessucks" is taken.
    Might I suggest "bill_whoneedsmorethan640k_g"? : Y
    Thank you for making your selection. ....

    Welcome "bill_whoneedsmorethan640k_g"!
  • They are going out of their way in mainstream publications to let it be known that the only reason these servers have been hacked is because of 'lazy' system administrators.

    And of course, Microsoft will leverage this incident to point out the "need" for Microsoft.NET class servers, wherein your servers will be suckling off the big MS teat for all their code, and so running without patches becomes virtually impossible.

    And the above would almost make sense if it weren't for the fact Microsoft were hacked too, once again demonstrating that when it comes to security, Microsoft is completely inept.

  • by Platinum Dragon ( 34829 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:54PM (#73308) Journal
    WT News: Chinese cyber-bullet is a dud
    NYT News: Web worm misses target
    WT Ed: Online threats, foreign and domestic
    NYT Ed: Cyber-attack should be a wake-up call

    bah...
  • One of MS's msn.com servers was like that too, the one which shows the MSN Explorers "about version", so if you clicked on More Choices -> about MSN Explorer you would get "Welcome to http://www.worm.com! Hacked by Chinese!" on your screen.

    Imagine the befuddled MSN users...

    -- iCEBaLM
  • ...Apparantly MS admits it didnt patch its own servers with its own security patch.
    ...

    I think you hit dead-on what their PR-dudes' ideal headline won't be.
    JMR

    (speaking only for myself, as always)

  • You're making the exact same mistake the 'n****r' poster makes (and, I guess we've both been trolled). You're equating one lone AC with the community of /. I grew up in Georgia and it's the same with the average redneck. See in the paper that a black man has hurt someone (or cut them off in traffic or whatever) and they automatically condemn all black people. Don't judge /. by all the Trolls, AC's, flamers, idiots, script kiddies. If you read long enough, you'll figure out how to get the good info and learn to ignore the idiots. Just my opinion.
    --
    Alex Johns
  • by aonifer ( 64619 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:58PM (#73320)
    "Giant worm devours Bush"
    "White House found to be infested with worms"
    "Computer thingy does stuff to other computer thingy"
    "Pedophilic, drug dealing, open source hackers attack White House"
  • It was a weak attempt.
  • Forget the headline *this* time. What happens when instead of the Chinese it's the goatse.cx worm?
  • Chinese "Code Red" Internet Worm misses White House, Microsoft issues fix

    So Microsoft's fix does what? Attacks the WhiteHouse.gov properly next time? :)

  • "Bill Gates really, really doesn't want Sunday papers editorializing about how shoddy and dangerous his security flaws are"

    And you think the Sun guys are not doing the same thing? The following is from the CERT advisory on Code Red:

    "Based on preliminary analysis, the sadmind/IIS worm exploits a vulnerability in Solaris systems and subsequently installs software to attack Microsoft IIS web servers"

    Without your blessed UNIX servers, this worm wouldn't be hitting the NT boxes in the first place. The people who should really be worried are all of the sysadmins out there who don't bother to install patches for their security holes, as both Microsoft and Sun have done.
  • Damn.. i gotta stop smoking when I post...
  • Jesus Christ. Can they get their Webby for microsoft's update site [webbyawards.com] taken back!
  • by niemiha ( 102848 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @10:41PM (#73335)
    WT News: Worms Try to Get into Whitehouse Doors through holes in Windows and Gates NYT News: Bush's new Bill: Bill, go to Bushes WT Ed: Bush's New Legislation: Worms are not Allowed Anymore - Microsoft Problems solved NYT Ed: Windows is Easy - Even Worms Can Send Mail ejem ;) hannu
  • by cybermage ( 112274 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:03PM (#73337) Homepage Journal
    NYT News: "Cyberterrorists Attack White House During G8 Summit"
    NYT Ed: "Tougher Punishment Needed For Hackers"
    WP News: "Microsoft To De-worm Servers"
    WP Ed: "America Needs To Prepare For E-Terrorism"
  • by Megor ( 122194 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:56PM (#73339)
    I can second that I got the same message once, tried reloading 100+ times and could not get it again!
  • Am I the only one here who wishes the virus *had* attacked whitehouse.gov by using the DNS instead of the IP?

    It would have been a much more prominant story.

    -= rei =-
  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday July 20, 2001 @06:19AM (#73341) Homepage
    You know, Hitler was widely admired in Germany, even by people who disagreed with his policies. Up until the end, the people living in the shelter with him saw him as a continued source of strength, even when he was resigned to die.

    Ooop, Godwin's law, I lose :)

    -= rei =-
  • WT News: Red Alert! MS Worm Attacks
    NYT News: Worm Almost Eats White House
    WT Ed: Open Source Allows Worm To Be Programmed
    NYT Ed: Red Worm Tied To Republican Fund Raiser

    Crappy guesses, but what the hell.

  • No frontpage headline or editorial in any of those papers. Maybe something on the business page. Below the fold.

  • by harvardian ( 140312 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:50PM (#73346)
    I read about that worm today, so I went and downloaded the patch from MS's website. While I was at it, I went to Windowsupdate to see if I was missing any critical update packages. You know what I see when I go to windowsupdate??

    Welcome to http://www.worm.com!
    Hacked by Chinese!

    I'm totally serious. I reloaded it and it never came back.

  • Hell, even the New York Daily News is more reputable than the Washington Times; despite the right-wing propaganda, the press isn't as slanted to the left as people think.
    --
  • That would be really compelling if it weren't for the fact that you can type a URL into the address window after a page has loaded from anywhere and take a screen shot. If the progress bar was still moving, it might be a bit more convincing, but still.

    ---

  • Bill Gates says: Check out this worm, baby! Boo-yah!

  • we have had reports from administrators that have been probed by over 196 thousand unique hosts. This leads us to believe that this worm has infected at least 196 thousand computers

    Now I feel sorry for Microsoft's PR department. Like the eeye security people, they're going to have to drink lots of Mountain Dew "Code Red" to stay awake and make the spins for the news.

    Okay. I was deluded. I don't feel sorry for micro$oft. I'm downright laughing at them!

    Did microsoft say something about potentially viral software somwhere? Ooops, this is a worm. NOt a virus. My bad.

  • by HiQ ( 159108 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @10:18PM (#73352)
    NYT News: Web worm misses target
    Second worm discovered behind grassy knoll - film at eleven!
  • Myself, I'd be far more amused if this were modified to work its way through *.microsoft.com. Perhaps each one could hit a random section of their IP range. The most amusing part about this is that it could well end up with MS's servers attacking themselves.

  • by John Leeming ( 160817 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:54PM (#73355)
    WT News:White House Wary, Web Virus Attack Fails
    NYT News: Hacker Virus Target White House, Misses
    WT Ed: White House Web Worm A Wash
    NYT Ed: Hackers and Politics: What Future Will the Internet Ruin for Democracy?
  • by IronChef ( 164482 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:29PM (#73356)

    His email address is actually billg@. Rumor has it that he spends a couple of hours every day on email.

    A friend of mine once emailed billg, asking if there was any truth to the rumor that MS would be supporting the Lockheed-Martin Real3D chipset. (Obviously this was a long time ago!) He got back a 2-word answer:

    "no truth"

    There was no sig or anything else. But it was still kind of spooky.
  • by b0r1s ( 170449 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:50PM (#73358) Homepage
    I'm gonna laugh my ass off if anyone actually gets this right .. the NY Times, and LA Times always massacre the truth right out of the headlines, so, I'm guessing it'll be something wrong, along the lines of:

    NYT News: Hackers use virus to attack whitehouse computers.

    Obviously wrong, but a good way to get some readers....

  • by krappie ( 172561 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:21PM (#73359)
    I saw it at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp or something. It was on tv, and I checked it out, and saw that message. Apparantly MS admits it didnt patch its own servers with its own security patch. How sad.

    Also, I kept reloading it, and it was always there, but a friend of mine said he saw an international list of where to get explorer. Heh. So there is another weird thing.

    But seriously, how does Microsoft expect to run all of these .NET services and passport authentication when their own servers seem to be hacked on a monthly basis?

  • WT News: White House Computer Threat Fizzles NYT News: "White House Worm" Causes Little Harm WT Ed: Can Microsoft Shake Security Worries? NYT Ed: The Growing Threat of Cyberwar

    --

  • by danheskett ( 178529 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .tteksehnad.> on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:53PM (#73361)
    WT News: World Wide Worm Wages War against White House

    NYT News: 'Code Red' in the White House WT Ed: Microsoft Bug Proves Security Risk, Flaws NYT Ed: Microsoft Hit Again, More to Come?


    Those are my lame guesses, but really, what are the chances of an editorial? Is this really that big of a deal? Boxes get infected, hell breaks loose, the world goes on.

    The headlines should read:

    Sysadmins Asleep at Wheel; do not patch boxes (still, again). Great Work, Guys!.


  • Not much better, but pretty good considering I'd use linux if I could... Record set: 06/25/01 09:03pm. Computer had been up for 2 w 5 d 20 h 21 m 16.862 s.

    Okay. How do you find Windows 2000 uptime? The closest I've been able to come is by simply going to My Network Places, choosing Local Area Connection, and clicking on Status.

    But that's not a real uptime, it's sucky. Microsoft probably hides it. [grin]

    BTW, my Winblows box approaches the world record! 6 d, 10h, 55m, 46.. 47... 48... uhh.. seconds.


  • From a stock install? I don't know. I use an MS provided tool called uptime.exe. It works on NT4SP4 and newer (no Win9x tho').

    Wow. It's a complete joke that it isn't included. I can't believe it. I believe more than before that I'm right - they know that they can't compete in uptime and availability with a conceptually simpler and more mature operating system that they've already slammed as obsolete and archaic.

    Thanks for pointing me towards it, though. :)


  • Typical. Thats about the only way a windows machine can rival a linux box for uptime. I havent tried any of the NT5 variants but NT4 showed the stability of a landslide.

    Now, believe it or not, if you're running well-written programs (flight information system at Pearson International Airport), Windows 95B has served me well. Record uptime was in the 60-day range (after fixing the dreaded 49.7 day memory leak). I think the relative simplicity of Windows 95 versus NT 4 gives it less points of failure.

    Besides, our software wrote directly to hardware, Windows NT/2000 doesn't like it when you do that, so we were pleasantly surprised with Windows 95's performance.

    MODERATORS: I have yet to find a version of Windows that rivals Linux, Solaris or *BSD for stability. This posting is not pro-Microsoft.

    On the other hand, I havent crashed a linux box ever, in over 4 years running various distros.

    Ooh. I have. Always double-check your hardware settings before insmoding a piece of ISA hardware. [grin]

    Bobo hates cans [glowingplate.com].

  • by BigBlockMopar ( 191202 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:52PM (#73367) Homepage

    His email address is actually billg@. Rumor has it that he spends a couple of hours every day on email.

    I've heard that too, and it doesn't surprise me that he'd go for the first name thing. I've met the man several times (used to work for an audio-visual company, I put a lav mic on him during the Windows 95 World Conquest Tour), and he's really - urk - friendly and genuine. But everything becomes a race, a game. "Let's see if I can run this lav mic through my shirt before you can connect it to the mixer!"

    What he didn't know was that the mixer was at the back of the room, so I was using a snake - basically a bus for mic cables. It was right under the podium. I plugged it in before he got the mic on, and he gave me a hell of a dirty look. >:)

    "no truth"

    You'd think there'd be at least a sig! Did he save the message and go back through the message headers? Heh:

    X-Mailer: Gnus v5.6.45/XEmacs 21.1

    Bill's secret is out. :)

    But it was still kind of spooky.

    His intensity and his absolute unwavering conviction that everything he (and, by extension, Microsoft) does is right is what spooks me the most. Ironically, while I loathe Microsoft, I admire his intelligence and his sense of humor. For example, I would bet money that he's seen the Bill Borg icon that Slashdot uses, and I'd also bet that he enjoyed it. Most computer geeks would like him in person, no matter how much we may abhorr his products.

  • by BigBlockMopar ( 191202 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:03PM (#73368) Homepage

    Heh. Here's my entry headline:

    "Worm Killed By Reboot: World Record 7-day Windows 2000 Uptime Over"

    On a somewhat unrelated note, adding this:

    0 12 * * * uptime | mail -s "Eat your heart out." "bgates@microsoft.com"

    ...to your crontab is a great way to brighten up Bill's morning.

  • Two thoughts:

    An infinite loop doesn't actually cause a crash, it causes a hang. The difference being that you can only detect an infinite loop by staring at the screen for an infinite amount of time. A crash may have more visible results.

    So if this were a Linux worm, the whole infinite loop thing would be over in five minutes. ;)
  • Yeah, a reliable and trustworthy news source like Slashdot should never stoop to that level.
  • How many people work at Microsoft? I always thought "billg" addresses were great for companies with six employees, but M'soft must have dozens of Bill Gundersons, Bill Gidowskies, and Bill Goats. I'd want something useful, like Bill.Gates
  • by ROBOKATZ ( 211768 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:50PM (#73377)
    Can't you see? They're just going to read this article, and pick the least damaging sounding headline from here.

    SLASHDOT READERS WILL BE DOING THEIR DIRTY WORK FOR THEM.

    In the name of all that is good, I beg you to stop!

  • by sfe_software ( 220870 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:01PM (#73379) Homepage
    WT News: Early Worm gets the Bird
    NYT News: Microsoft Denies Ally with China
    WT Ed: Dubya is for Worm?
    NYT Ed: default.ida?NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN...

    ---

    I couldn't think of anything clever, nor could I think of anything particularly humorous...

    - Jman
  • WT News: "Chinese Red Flag Virus targets White House."
    NYT News: "Whitehouse.gov target of Internet Worm."
    WT Ed: none.(WT will not have an editorial about the worm)
    NYT Ed: "Microsoft's Continuing Security Woes."
  • According to the report (linked in this article, too lazy to go back and get the link), the worm only changes to the default page from IIS to the "Chinese" page for 10 hours. Also, the page might be balanced across several servers, which could explain why your friend had different results. MS could also have some sort of caching on their server that will return the same data to the same user if they reload or something to that effect as well.
  • by zhensel ( 228891 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:05PM (#73385) Homepage Journal
    I was gonna call bullshit, but then I saw this [securityfocus.com]. Bah... still could be a pretty good effort at starting an internet-urban-legend.
  • Hey, interesting idea. It'll be fun to see everyone's guesses.

    Mine are:
    • WT News: Microsoft worm attacks White House
    • NYT News: Worm's Damage Averted
    • WT Ed: Microsoft Worm Causes Major Internet Failure
    • NYT Ed: Internet Saved, Thanks to Microsoft's Quick Thinking


    ----------
  • If you go back and look they obviously want to get it from two different perspectives. The New York Times is the bleeding-heart liberal bullshit newspaper which'll make Bush somehow become the bad guy in all of this while the Washington Times will most likely concentrate on Chinese hackers disrupting American capitalism on the net. Quit being such a liberal freak.

    If they wanted another perspective from a straight-up paper, they'd use The Wall Street Journal which is well to the right of the NYT. Or if they were after wacky, why not use the Enquirer or the Weekly World News, which are both much more entertainingly bizarre than the Washington Times.

    The Washington Times is simply not respected as a serious newspaper and therefore struck me as an odd choice for this contest. Nothing freakish about that.

  • by Pinchy ( 253673 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:51PM (#73392)
    The subject says it all...
  • by imipak ( 254310 ) on Friday July 20, 2001 @03:56AM (#73393) Journal
    My NT 4 box has 105 days' uptime at present. Not that it's running much... just BIND, a mail server, Apache, mod_perl, NAT-ing Internet gateway... oh and it's my workstation, too, so I'm using mozilla for mail and web, and experimenting with a load of stuff under cygwin. Of course, I'm probably just lucky, and yes I know 105 days is NBD. But it doesn't crash every 5 minutes, whatever your local neighbourhood zealot would have you believe.
    --
    "I'm not downloaded, I'm just loaded and down"
  • Ironically, while I loathe Microsoft, I admire his intelligence and his sense of humor.
    (Score:1, Offtopic)

    Man, you should've known better than to post anything pro-Gatesish here. :)

    * spots moderator coming back *

    Uh...
    NYT: 'Code Red' at the White House
    WT/P: Chinese Hackers Retaliate 'for Pilot Wang'
    MSNBC: Web Administrators Ignore Microsoft's Warnings, Endanger Government
    FOX: Tonight on FOX: When Worms Attack!!

    See? I'm on-topic, even!

    * ducks modstick *

  • WT News: 'Red Worm' Computer Virus Attacks White House Website NYT News: 'Red Worm' Woes WT Ed: What We Should Learn NYT Ed: How Safe is Our Internet?
  • by bryan1945 ( 301828 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:03PM (#73398) Journal
    WT News: Microsoft counters US lawsuit.
    NYT News: Senator Clinton says "Take that Bush!"
    WT Ed: Finally, someone protests Bush election win!
    NYT Ed: Mayor Guiliani announces New York City initiative for Microsoft-free zones.

  • by elgee ( 308600 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @07:59PM (#73400)
    I predict the future and all I can win is a t-shirt?

    No thank you. My time is much more valuable than that.
  • by Peridriga ( 308995 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @09:11PM (#73401)
    Yes... Microsoft's own servers was hacked...
    Microsofts webservers are set up in a load-balancing format.. Meaning when you goto microsoft.com or updates.microsoft.com you aren't going to the same server every time or refresh. So if only one was infected (which is entirely possible b/c the worm spread by randomly choosing it's targets... Not just attacking obvious targets) then once every "x" number of time you would hit the infected server...

    --- My Karma is bigger than your...
    ------ This sentence no verb
    ------ Ths sntnc n vwl
  • by JBowz15 ( 451573 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @09:11PM (#73414)
    AOL Headline:
    "You've got worms!"
  • Bill Gates has worms.

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