Each week vnunet.com asks a different expert to give their views on recent virus and security issues, with advice, warnings and information on the latest threats.
This week Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, warns that budding virus writers must be made aware of the implications of abusing their programming knowledge.
Written, it is alleged, by a teenager in a sleepy north German village, the Sasser worm spread to infect countries around the world.
The list of victims ranges from the UK Coastguard to the Taiwanese Post Office to 300,000 commuters who had their train journeys disrupted in Sydney, Australia.
A website was even set up asking computer users to support the defence of the alleged writer by making online donations, although the site raised only a paltry $97 before shutting down.
One suspects that some of the $0.01 donations may have been from worm-weary system administrators who wanted to voice their displeasure in the only way available to them.
Whatever the true story behind Sasser, there are important lessons for the future to consider.
Businesses need to have the technology and resources to apply critical security patches in a reliable, timely way, and Microsoft, for its part, needs to produce fixes that do not cause unexpected errors or system conflicts.
Companies need to invest in a multi-tiered defence against viruses. That means not just protecting the email gateway (Sasser doesn't travel via email), but ensuring that desktops and servers are also defended against the latest viruses.
Firewalls should be in place to stop worms like Sasser dead in their tracks.
As the alleged author was probably under 18 when he wrote his worms he is likely to receive only a mild sentence. But his age made no difference to the havoc his creations caused.
When teenagers learn about IT they also need to be taught how to use computers responsibly, and about the implications for both themselves and computer users worldwide if they abuse their programming knowledge.
If not, we shouldn't be surprised if more teenage gangs wreak chaos on computers worldwide in the future.
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