Can the Free Internet Survive?
Opinion: Growing threats make it likely that authentication technology will soon do away with anonymous access to any Internet resource.Advertising banners commonly offer "something special" to customers, usually in the form of lower prices or better service. But over the weekend, some popular Web sites delivered something completely unexpected with their advertising banners: a piece of malware. The attack on a load balancing server at Germanys Falk eSolutions caused the Bofra/IFrame exploit, a variant of MyDoom, to be delivered along with the ad banners of as many as 150 of the companys clients. These include A&E Networks, IDG and The Register, where the hack was apparently first discovered. The hack took advantage of a recently discovered weakness in Internet Explorer that, alas, had yet to be patched. Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2) users were immune, which is great for them but bad news for everyone else.
The damage from this hack is probably more psychological than practical, pointing out as it does that no part of the public Internetno matter how supposedly well-managed or protectedcan really be considered "safe."