Our Nasty Internet

It sometimes boggles my mind at how messy and nasty the Internet has become.

The Canberra Times (no URL available, can’t find it on their website) quotes Peter Tippett, a member of United States President George W.Bush’s Information Technology Advisory Committee and chief technologist at Cybertrust, as telling a media briefing in Sydney last week that in the first six months of this year “the proportion of total e-mail traffic classified as malicious – including spam and phishing – rose from 20 per cent to 85 per cent.”

What does this mean? Well, for one thing it means that most folk trying to download the Windows XP SP2 update without already having a firewall in place didn’t stand a chance: “In a test undertaken in 10 cities last month, Cybertrust found that only 40 per cent of new computers were able to download a Windows update before they were successfully hacked.” Says Tippett: ”The average time before a successful hack is under an hour on an average high-speed Internet connection in the world today.”

We have got to find another way of doing all this. The Internet has become one, big, bad neighborhood. Ordinary folks just shouldn’t have to be vulnerable when they plug in.

(Tippett, by they way, recommends setting up a wireless network. He plays down the dangers of sniffing and eavesdropping and plays up the fact that over 80% of attacks can’t get through a netted router. ”If you did only one thing for home security, you should add wireless to your home network,” said Tippett. I’m certainly no expert, but wouldn’t adding any kind of router that has NAT, or Network Address Translation, built in do the same thing for you? Why does it have to be Wi-fi?)

06. December 2004 by jeremy
Categories: Internet life, Malware, Phishing, Security | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. Indeed, the protection you get from the router is the key – not the wi-fi. Anything that requires configuration in order to pass external traffic through to the local machines is a good thing…now if we could just get people to stop running Outlook Express we might be able to tackle another chunk of the attacks.

    I certainly hope ISPs and software companies take steps to deal with these problems as the internet has become less and less usable – if ISPs would simply block off more ports by default and be more proactive in dealing with abuse reports we would have less zombies out there (and thus less in the way of spam, phishing and attacks.)