From the author of Black Hawk Down comes the story of the battle between those determined to exploit the internet and those committed to protect it—the ongoing war taking place literally beneath our fingertips.
The Conficker worm infected its first computer in November 2008 and within a month had infiltrated 1.5 million computers in 195 countries. Banks, telecommunications companies, and critical government networks (including the British Parliament and the French and German military) were infected. No one had ever seen anything like it. By January 2009 the worm lay hidden in at least eight million computers and the botnet of linked computers that it had created was big enough that an attack might crash the world. This is the gripping tale of the group of hackers, researches, millionaire Internet entrepreneurs, and computer security experts who united to defend the Internet from the Conficker worm: the story of the first digital world war.
Chapters: Conficker, Mydoom, Iloveyou, Anna Kournikova, Blaster. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 43. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: Conficker, also known as Downup, Downadup and Kido, is a computer worm targeting the Microsoft Windows operating system that was first detected in November 2008. It uses flaws in Windows software and Dictionary attacks on administrator passwords to co-opt machines and link them into a virtual computer that can be commanded remotely by its authors. Conficker has since spread rapidly into what is now believed to be the largest computer worm infection since the 2003 SQL Slammer, with more than seven million government, business and home computers in over 200 countries now under its control. The worm has been unusually difficult to counter because of its combined use of many advanced malware techniques. The origin of the name Conficker is thought to be a portmanteau of the English term “configure” and the German word Ficker, which translates as “fucker”. Microsoft analyst Joshua Phillips gives an alternate interpretation of the name, describing it as a rearrangement of portions of the domain name trafficconverter.biz, which was used by early versions of Conficker to download updates. The first variant of Conficker, discovered in early November 2008, propagated through the Internet by exploiting a vulnerability in a network service (MS08-067) on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta. While Windows 7 may have been affected by this vulnerability, the Windows 7 Beta was not publicly available until January 2009. Although Microsoft released an emergency out-of-band patch on October 23, 2008 to close the vulnerability, a large number of Windows PCs (estimated at 30%) remained unpatched. French Navy Rafales planes were unable to take off after military computers were infected by Conficker. Royal Navy and RAF were attacked by a version of Conficker that infected some 24 RAF bases, 75% of the Royal Navy fleet and the Ark Royal aircraft carrier.