The Trouble With Viruses

By Michael Miller  |  Posted 2004-02-25 Print this article Print

Once again, the virus writers targeted Windows. Microsoft simply has to do a better job of making its OS more secure.
The Trouble with Viruses<

As I write this, were just getting over the latest virus scare—if indeed its really over. MyDoom, also known as Novarg, Shimg, and Mimail.R, started propagating itself at a furious rate, initially through Kazaa and as an e-mail attachment. Soon, the fastest-moving infection yet on the Internet was everywhere.

MyDoom wasnt anything special. Most people got infected by clicking on an attachment that turned out to be an executable file—something weve warned our readers about for years. But many still continued to click, and the virus spread.

This is just one more example of the problems that viruses and security holes are creating. Perhaps I was lucky—and perhaps my antivirus software worked—but MyDoom didnt infect any of my computers. I was still bothered by it, though, with lots of e-mail delays. And the sheer number of delivery failure messages MyDoom caused was problematic.

Just consider these stats: In two days, at the height of the infection, we received more than 500 messages at one of our public e-mail addresses: 10 were MyDoom viruses, 300 were about undelivered e-mail due to MyDoom, 200 were spam, and only 30 were legitimate messages. Its enough to make me very concerned about the future of e-mail.


Michael J. Miller is Executive Vice President and Editorial Director of Ziff Davis Media Inc., where he takes an active role in corporate editorial issues, helps identify new editorial needs in the marketplace and shapes the editorial process of every Ziff Davis Media publication.

He joined the company in 1991 as Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine. Under Miller's supervision, PC Magazine has grown to have the largest readership of any technology publication in the world, at 5.9 million readers. He oversaw the redesign of PC Magazine, the launch of and an expansion of PC Magazine Labs, the largest computer testing lab run by any publication.

Prior to joining PC Magazine, Miller was editor-in-chief of InfoWorld, which he joined as executive editor in 1985. Previously, he was the West Coast Bureau Chief for Popular Computing, and Senior Editor for Building Design & Construction.

An experienced public speaker and veteran technology journalist, Miller has become the 'spokesperson' for the technology industry. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including being named to Medill's Alumni Hall of Achievement. In 2002, Mr. Miller was named the number one consumer/computer journalist by Technology Marketing magazine.

Mr. Miller holds a Master of Science degree in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.


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