The Blackworm’s aftermath

On past Friday, February 3rd, Blackworm, a dangerous and rapidly spreading parasite, could cause catastrophic data losses by deleting millions of various documents, databases, images and archives stored on hundred of thousands of computers around the world. However, the worm failed. It was a quiet Friday night, and we still had no reports from Blackworm victims. But why? The worm’s payload was highly destructive after all!

Well, according to F-Secure, makers of F-Secure Anti-Virus and other popular security-related software, several factors had an influence on the infection aftermath:

– The amount of machines that were really infected still on Friday was much smaller than the total amount of machines that got infected (and cleaned) during the whole outbreak. This number is probably in the tens of thousands. Which is not a lot of computers out of, say, one billion computers in the world.

– Many of the infected machines were not rebooted on Friday. They were simply running all the time. The worm only does damage when you start the machine on the 3rd.

– Many infected home machines were shut down all of Friday, and nothing happened. People went to movies, bars, parties on Friday night instead of surfing.

– The media coverage on the whole incident prompted many people to check their system and clean them up in time.

Nevertheless, tens of thousands of computers are still infected, and some users do not even know about this.


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