Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ethical worms: What crack is Slate smoking?

Slate has an article entitled Fight Virus With Virus - That's the only way to stop MyDoom. The author's idea is that if we can't stem the tide of malware with our current technology, then we should fight fire with fire, or "virus with virus", by creating worms that exploit widespread security holes in order to spread around and automatically fix security holes.

This idea is not just bad, it is disastrous. It's hard enough sometimes for legitimate administrators to patch their systems and have them still run reliably (pre-production testing, anyone?) and the idea of trusting my systems to an anonymous piece of code that has no local knowledge about my configuration, requirements or schedule is simply ludicrous.

Let me be clear: No way in hell.

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