Why aren't we furious about email's dysfunction? Spam just keeps getting worse
. And it's been bad for a long time
. The spam/virus anti-spam/anti-virus arms-race continues to generate profits for spammers and anti-spammers
at everyone else's expense. Attachments maybe weren't a good idea. And neither was the reply-all button. Attempts at "fixing" email are the subject of ridicule
, and perhaps deservedly so. Google Wave was released as an alternative to email; few seem to care. What gives? Are we really stuck with this crap?
In 1984 computer pioneer Ken Thompson wrote one of the seminal works of computer security, Reflections on Trusting Trust [PDF]
. In it he postulated putting a trojan horse inside a compiler as a means of infecting software compiled by it. 25 years later somebody has finally done just that. Researchers at anti-virus house Sophos have discovered a virus
that places a backdoor into applications compiled with the Delphi language. They've identified at least 3000 separate Delphi applications that have had this backdoor compiled into them so far, including banking programs and programs used for cellphone programming.
On January 19, 1986, the first PC virus — Brain
— was detected. It was virtually harmless, and the Pakistani creators claim that
it was only intended to protect their copyrights. (They did, after all, include their own address and phone number in the machine code.) In the past 20 years, though, both creating viruses
and destroying them
have become billion-dollar industries.
, editor of Vmyths.com
, writes that three uniformed federal police visited him in the middle of the night
and asked that he not to publish an upcoming column that would embarrass anti-virus vendor for "national security reasons." From late-October, but intriguing.
Those British boys at it again.
It was like this during the war, y'know. I remember my old mate Alan Turing beating the system in much the same way. Saved the world he did. Tally-ho.
The bastards at Symantec
are now charging for virus updates.
They've just lost a customer, a hopefully many more. The feedback form is here
if you feel the need to bitch at them.