Overheard: Word of the Day

Oct 30 2007   6:05PM GMT

Overheard: Zombie army is not just a scary Halloween story

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

zombies.jpg “What’s scarier than a Zombie flashmob at an Apple store? John Naughton’s article about how the Storm worm is being used to assemble a Zombie Army.”  

This is really scary stuff.

‘If Storm were a disease,’ says Bruce Schneier, ‘it would be more like syphilis, whose symptoms may be mild or disappear altogether, but which will come back years later and eat your brain.’

Naughton writes: Storm has been spreading steadily since last January, gradually constructing a huge botnet. It affects only computers running Microsoft Windows, but that means that more than 90 per cent of the world’s PCs are vulnerable. Nobody knows how big the Storm botnet has become, but reputable security professionals cite estimates of between one million and 50 million computers worldwide. To date, the botnet has been used only intermittently, which is disquieting: what it means is that someone, somewhere, is quietly building a doomsday machine that can be rented out to the highest bidder, or used for purposes that we cannot yet predict.

Storm is different. It spreads quietly, without drawing attention to itself. Symptoms don’t appear immediately, and an infected computer can lie dormant for a long time.

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