When bad things happen to good companies

Thursday, 15 May 2003, 11:34 AM EST

Were there a Computer Incident Hall of Fame, you could probably imagine strolling the halls and browsing through exhibits of history's most dynamic electronic viruses and worms—the villains whose names have sent shivers down the spine of any security expert equipped with a decent memory: The Morris Worm, Melissa, Nimda, Code Red, LoveLetter, Klez and, of course, the most recent inductee, SQL Slammer. You might also see some of the more notorious service outages, hacker penetrations, denials of service, malicious e-mail and Internet attacks on display. All have caused varying degrees of chaos, and some have even stopped businesses in their tracks, crippling productivity and costing millions of dollars in lost commerce.

And yet all could have been tamed. Had someone the foresight to put an incident response plan in place, those viruses and worms and outages and attacks might not be so infamous today.

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