Jan 302004

Our server has been pretty busy the last few days. Lots of new virii scurrying around the internet, most recently the Novarg worm. This one looks like one of the nastier specimens. However, our problem is not with the virii; our own filters are dealing with that quite handily, thank you. Our problem is with the anti-virus software—other systems’ anti-virus software.

See, a lot of this anti-virus software, as it filters incoming e-mail, can be set to notify the sender when a message is found to have a virus, worm, whatever. However, the makers of anti-virus software, when they implemented this nifty feature, apparently weren’t aware that most of these worms and virii will forge the from address. So we’re getting thousands of bounces from places we’ve never sent mail to, helpfully informing us that the message we did not send had a virus and was blocked. You’d think that the admins of all those e-mail systems would know better, even if the anti-virus writers didn’t, and disable this feature. But apparently a lot of them don’t.

I remember the Good Times “virus,” which was nothing but a text message that propagated by convincing people to send it to absolutely everyone in the world. I’m wondering if these worms represent the newest trend; rather than human engineering like Good Times, they employ software engineering. They use the anti-virus software itself to clog network resources as it tries to bounce mail to people who never had the virus to start with.

In other news, the kids finally went back to school—for one day this week. Although there’s mutterings in the weather forecast department about the possibility of more snow Sunday night. What the hell is this, winter?

 Posted by at 1:16 pm

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