License Computer Users

 
 
By John Dvorak  |  Posted 2003-08-18 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Using a computer should require at least a minimal level of proficiency. Let's license users.

Over this past weekend yet another virus/Trojan/worm/whatnot attack culminated in a lot of panic. Apparently, far too many systems were infected with this latest disease, and the Net was once again choking on the aftereffects. Probably the blackout in New York and much of the Northeast saved us because it simply took machines offline.

This new attack, which infects Microsoft Windows NT, 2000, and XP machines that have not been recently updated, goes by Lovesan and Blaster, among other names. One message it produced was "I Love You San." Has anyone even wondered who the heck San is? Track her or him down and get to the bottom of this latest scourge.

Heres my solution to this problem: a license to use computers. Its time we realize that national security is at risk, as is the future of the Internet and modern business. These attacks are never going to end, thats now obvious. Many are direct strikes against the infrastructure, such as the DNS attacks of late. Others are assaults on specific systems, such as the near ruination of the IRC network DALnet. Once in a while, a direct attack against specific Web sites takes place. Professional network administrators, who can control things to a certain extent, deal with all these sorts of attacks. When the White House site was about to be attacked, the administrators changed the IP addresses. Over this past weekend, Microsoft modified its Windows Update address just enough to foil the expected bot attack.

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John C. Dvorak is a contributing editor of PC Magazine, for which he has been writing two columns, including the popular Inside Track, since 1986. Dvorak has won eight national awards from the Computer Press Association, including Best Columnist and Best Column. Dvorak's work appears in several magazines and newspapers, including Boardwatch, Computer Shopper, and MicroTimes. He is the author of several books on computing including the popular Dvorak's Guide to Telecommunications. His radio show, 'Real Computing,' can be heard on National Public Radio. He is also the host of TechTV's 'Silicon Spin.'

For more on John C. Dvorak, go to www.dvorak.org.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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