[FPSPACE] Re: FP is under virus/spam attack

Robert G Kennedy III robot at ultimax.com
Sun Oct 31 22:56:50 EST 2004

Jens Kieffer-Olsen
> So, once again it seems that backward ISPs lead some
> of us to ask for draconian measures, which more forward
> ISPs have already rendered unnecessary?

I seem to have a backward ISP compared to you, so, regrettably the first
part of your sentence is true. The regrettable part is that it is often
necessary in human factors engineering when designing systems intended for
public use, of which the man-machine interface is one instance, that one
must cater to the lowest common denominator. Obviously, not everybody can
have the "latest" technology, and anyway. "latest" necessarily means "not
tested as much".

However, the second part of your sentence is not correct, in that
"unecessary" is not necessarily forever. There will always be new modes of
attack, unforeseen by designers.

For administrative and logical reasons, it is easier to implement a total
ban than a partial, i.e. tested, ban. A total ban can be done with one line
of code, however a partial ban would require either:
(a) a comprehensive list of known bad attachment types with all others
permitted, which is not possible because the crackers are always coming up
with new, hence undefined, modes of attack, or
(b) a comprehensive list of known good attachment types with all others
excluded, which is not possible either, because nearly every common
business application e.g. Word, Excel, and graphics packages, has been
compromised at some point by someone in the past, which means that every
instance of a file created by those applications (e.g., .doc, .xls, .gif.
jpg) has a nonzero chance of being destructive.

From: NOdin at aol.com
>So, yhow do we rid ourselves of this BAGEL worm wo\ithout tearing
>out our hair, and losing valuable time and software??

Eschew Windows.

Actually, even as a Mac user, the foregoing isn't entirely true. Although I
have not suffered a successful virus attack in many years, I still lose a
huge amount of time and productivity preventing and/or dealing with the
fallout from an insecure world (cyberspace) not of my making. It is quite

Btw, in a few minutes it will be the 52 anniversary of the MIKE shot.
Happy anniversary.
And many more....

Robert Kennedy, PE

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