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Digg: Don't Double Dip

Things to worry about on Super Bowl Sunday.


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Digg are running a thread on double dipping. Seems that come time for a Super Bowl in the US everybody from Quahog and outwards is munching in front of the telly. And double dipping as it's called is just not good for your health - it can lead to cross contamination.

Paul Dawson and his students at Clemson examined the effects of double dipping and found three to six double dips transferred about ten thousand bacteria from the eater's mouth to the dip - more than Dawson had guessed.

'It's like kissing everybody at a party', Dawson said.

So double dipping - if you didn't already find it gross - is something to be wary of and worried about.

On Friday Australia's Secure Computing published a piece on something called Mega-D. Mega-D's a sort of bacteria too - but it's a computer infection and not a biological one. Security specialists at Marshal - a big player in the security business - claim the new botnet Mega-D is now singularly responsible for 32% of all spam on the Internet.

This of course begs several questions and leads irrevocably to a number of conclusions.

If 80% of all SMTP traffic is spam and if Mega-D is responsible for approximately 32% of all spam right now then Mega-D on its own is responsible for a full quarter of the mail traffic on the entire Internet.

One feels the urge to congratulate the authors to such an achievement but there's a darker deeper truth there as well, also within reach. Namely whose computers are sending out the spam. And everyone knows the answer to that one.

Open relays don't count anymore. It's Windows PCs doing the dirty work. Mega-D recruits Windows PCs to a botnet; these Windows PCs take commands from their 'zombie general' and then spew out a quarter of the SMTP traffic on the net today.

There are potentially two ways to deal with this situation.

One: Bill Gates places a call to his good friend in Washington to tell him something must be done. The friend in Washington then places a call to a Mr Putin [he calls him 'Vladimir'] in Moscow and tells him something must be done. Mr Putin then places a call to some of his old friends in the KGB and sees if they can shake down the RBN.

Simultaneously Bill Gates places calls to the CEOs of Verizon, BellSouth, PacBell, Qwest, Level3, Sprint, and all the rest and tells them they have to stop Mega-D from reaching his precious Windows machines.

That's not going to work.

Two: everybody finally get off their lazy arses and stop using Windows. Anything at all - as long as it's not Windows. For without Windows on the Internet there won't be enough for the spammers to pluck at [or the Internet criminals to attack for that matter]. Remove Windows from the Internet tonight and the entire Mega-D botnet disappears - or at least ceases to have any relevance. Remove Windows from the Internet tonight and 99.9% of all the dangers associated with the Internet cease to exist JUST LIKE THAT.

That's not going to work either.

So as you disconnect from the virtual world today to connect with a different even more unreal one - you should at least remember one thing.

Don't double dip.

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