2000-2003: the age of (in)security

Tuesday, 20 January 2004, 4:04 AM EST

A San Jose Mercury News TV ad in the spring of 2001 summed up the era neatly: "A month ago, you were a 28-year-old millionaire. Now you're just 28."

Whereas the Y2K deadline passed with barely a whimper, the Nasdaq collapse in April 2000 obliterated dot-com fortunes virtually overnight, signaling the end of a 10-year economic boom. But bigger disasters lay ahead, as the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 would tragically demonstrate.

The Internet's infrastructure also proved vulnerable. Massive DoS (denial of service) attacks in February 2000 took down the biggest sites, including Amazon, CNN and Yahoo. Two years later, a DoS attack briefly disabled nine of the Net's 13 DNSes.

A series of increasingly virulent worms -- Code Red, Nimbda, Klez, Blaster, Slammer, SoBig -- infected millions of machines. Slammer also disabled ATMs, 911 call centers and other systems that weren't supposed to be connected to the Net.

By Dan Tynan at Enterprise Linux IT.

[ Read more ]




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