• United States

And the winner is . . .

Sep 01, 20034 mins


Everybody! It’s mouse pads all around for the SoAnnoying competition, in which I asked for people to send in their SoBig.F message counts and their best SoBig stories. No, I’m not copping out or just trying to clear out this stack of Network World Fusion mouse pads on my desk. I decided anybody who goes to the trouble to total up worm-related messages deserves some sort of prize (or counseling?).

Harry Dillon of CSX gets a mouse pad for reminding us this wasn’t all fun and games: “We have had to have 24-7 teams of people updating PCs and laptops for days. We had to shut down our test systems. We had to take PCs off our network just to stop the virus from bringing down our routers. And when we have network problems, trains stop. Thousands of commuters can be stuck on their trains. Entire communities can be divided by trains halted while blocking crossings. It was both financially and emotionally costly, causing much apprehension that we might not get the network up at all! We faced the real possibility of keeping all the Windows servers offline, and losing tremendous functionality so that some of our non-Windows servers could continue to work” (read more about SoBig’s impact on large companies).

The award for proving that some people should not be allowed near computers goes to Brian Poirier, who writes: “I’m working on my system and our receptionist is in the room using the other system to access her Yahoo account. Suddenly I hear a few ‘boings’ and the poor girl saying ‘I keep trying to open it but nothing happens.’ I look over and see her ‘ignoring’ the Norton security warnings and about a dozen windows minimized to the task bar. I get up and look and she kept trying to open one of the attachments that SoBig uses, over and over again. I kick her off the machine and start trying to fix the havoc she has wrought and ask her if she recognized the name of the person who sent it to her?


“‘Why did you open an attachment from someone you don’t know?’

“It might have been from a friend! They might have made up a new e-mail address and didn’t tell me!”

The Smugness Award goes to Mac users who reported zero SoBig messages.

In terms of numbers: David Ring reported 15,000 infected messages at his Webmaster address as of last Tuesday morning – and coming in as fast as two to three per minute (more on his case). Last week, Oliver, another reader, reported as many as 6,000 an hour flooding his mail server. Ken Christensen reported 3,386 infected messages in his personal in-box over a 24-hour period ending at 6 p.m. on Aug. 20.

IT vs. security

Troy Jessup writes security is too important to be done part time by IT folks:

“IT guys are the ones you call to get things to work. They are the lifeline technically for most networks. They will generally stop at nothing, even up to circumventing security to get something to work. Whereas on the other hand, the security guy is more cautious about access, and will generally not compromise security of the network to make something happen the easy way. These are just two of many differences in the two groups.”

Read his full essay.

Laptops on vacation

“Memo to all staff: If you take your laptop on vacation and use it to go online but don’t connect to the company LAN to download the latest anti-virus definitions, do not, repeat, do not plug it into the network first thing when you get back. Instead, walk it down to the IS department so somebody can disinfect it first.”

Has anybody had to send out a memo like that recently?

NetBuzz returns next week. But keep reading Gaffin daily at DocFinder: 7441.

Responsible for editorial content on this Web site, so blame him, especially when it comes to Compendium. In his spare time, he runs Boston Online, a service devoted to the Hub of the Universe. He is learning to talk wicked good.

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