10 years ago yesterday, The ILOVEYOU
or LOVELETTER computer worm successfully attacked tens of millions of Windows computers in 2000 when it was sent as an attachment to an email message with the text "ILOVEYOU" in the subject line. Mefi Was There
that day when Onel De Guzman released a virus that he had proposed creating as part of his undergraduate thesis. The BBC Looks Back
. The key part of the virus was not any technical trick but the wording of the subject line - ILOVEYOU - and its attachment LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.
posted by Blake
on May 5, 2010 -
A new HIV vaccine
is showing promising results, reducing the risk of contracting the virus by 32 percent. While further tests are still needed, the vaccine is a combination failed HIV vaccines AIDSVAX
and ALVAC, based on the Canary Pox virus.
The study itself faced criticism
from the outset.
posted by borkencode
on Sep 24, 2009 -
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.
posted by scalefree
on Aug 20, 2009 -
April 1 is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 274 days remaining until the end of the year. April 1 is most notable in the Western world for being April Fools
. [more inside]
posted by jbickers
on Mar 31, 2009 -
A German researcher accidentally jabbed her finger with a hypodermic loaded with the deadly Ebola virus
. 48 hours later, she was injected with an untested, experimental vaccine
, developed by an international team of virologists and biologists. Though she may never have been infected, she was certainly in danger; in 2004, a similar incident caused the death of a Russian scientist
at a former Soviet biological weapons lab.
posted by permafrost
on Mar 29, 2009 -
can be “caught” as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands.... As many as one in three obese people may have become overweight after falling victim to the highly infectious cold-like virus, known as AD-36.
posted by caddis
on Jan 26, 2009 -
reports today that inhabitants of the former Roman Empire have much lower levels of a gene variant that protects against the virus that causes AIDS - CCR5-Delta32
to be exact. Previously, this genetic mutation had been attributed to the spread of the Black Death
posted by Lizc
on Sep 4, 2008 -
"There may be no biological process more complicated than the relationships that viruses have with their hosts. Could it be that their persistence made it possible for humans to thrive?" [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus
on Nov 27, 2007 -
Obesity has been called an epidemic in the United States.
Looking at an interactive statistic [CNN, flash]
of the state-by-state numbers is sobering mf
64% of adults are overweight and approx 25% are obese
The usual suspects have so far been a culture of low-exercise mf
high-consumption (due to urban sprawl, driving
, TV, ... ),
and bad diet
(the ubiquity of
with its high levels of fat, sugar and salt. Recently the high fructose levels in the common American diet has also been noted.
Fructose comprises 50% of table sugar and up to 90% of high-fructose corn
syrup (HFCS), both ingredients found in copious
amounts in most American 'convenience' foods.
[Wikipedia: Fructose#References, Wikipedia:HFCS]).
Now it seems that a
is a common virus, the
, which may really make obesity
an actual epidemic. [Int. Journal of Obesity
posted by umop-apisdn
on Aug 21, 2007 -
Dr. Stephen Lanka claims that H5N1 doesn't exist.
. Or disease-causing viruses in general
. "In humans, in the blood or in other bodily fluids, in an animal or in a plant there never have been seen or demonstrated structures which you could characterize as bird flu viruses or flu viruses or any other supposedly disease-causing virus. The causes of those diseases which are being maintained to be caused by a virus, also those in animals, which can arise quickly and in individuals either one after the other or several at the same time, are known since a long time back. However much you stretch things in biology, there is simply no place for viruses as the causative agents of diseases. Only if I ignore the findings of Dr Hamer’s New Medicine, according to which shock events are the cause of many diseases, and the findings of chemistry on the effects of poisonings and deficiencies, and then if I ignore the findings of physics about the effects of radiation, then there is a place for imaginings such as disease-causing viruses."
posted by Sticherbeast
on Jul 24, 2006 -
A monstrous discovery
suggests that viruses, long regarded as lowly evolutionary latecomers, may have been the precursors of all life on Earth.
"We haven't even begun to scratch the surface. The numbers are mind-boggling. If you put every virus particle on Earth together in a row, they would form a line 10 million light-years long. People, even most biologists, don't have a clue. The general public thinks genetic diversity is us and birds and plants and animals and that viruses are just HIV and the flu. But most of the genetic material on this planet is viruses. No question about it. They and their ability to interact with organisms and move genetic material around are the major players in driving speciation, in determining how organisms even become what they are."
posted by five fresh fish
on Feb 17, 2006 -
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.
posted by Plutor
on Jan 19, 2006 -
Is H5N1 flu transitioning
to a human-to-human illness? Recent reports of familial clusters
suggest that it may be, though there are certainly other possible explanations, such as families living in environments contaminated by virus-laden bird feces. On the other hand, it would seem that epidemiologists are growing increasingly interested in the possibility that these clusters are indicative of human-to-human transmissions. Further, the virus may be inching towards being asymptomatic, which isn't as good as it sounds: if people can carry the virus and transmit it to others without showing symptoms, it will be very difficult to impossible to tell who is a vector and highly difficult to control any emerging epidemic.
posted by chakalakasp
on Dec 2, 2005 -
1.7 million deaths in the U.S. and 180-360 million dead globally.
That's the estimate of the impact of the next influenza pandemic
from Michael Osterholm, published
in today's New England Journal of Medicine
. He warns that almost every public health response to the inevitable emergence of pandemic influenza A strain is unplanned or inadequate: A vaccine would take minimum six months (and millions of fertilized chicken eggs); there are no plans to setup and staff the temporary isolation wards or replace dead health-care workers; nor are there detailed plans for handling the number of dead bodies. Given the deeply interconnected nature of the global economy a pandemic would be impossible to stop and wreak havoc in every nation. "Frankly the crisis could for all we know have started last night in some village in Southeast Asia," said
Dr. Paul Gully, Canada's deputy chief public health officer. "We don't have any time to waste and even if we did have some time, the kinds of things we need to do will take years. Right now, the best we can do is try to survive it. We need a Manhattan Project yesterday."
posted by docgonzo
on May 5, 2005 -
When mobile phones
get attacked. Articles posted on The Guardian
today are reporting that mobile phones running on the Symbian OS
in Moscow are being targeted by a non-malicious virus/worm named Cabir
Only 49 phones have been infected so far by the worm which propagates via Bluetooth. The creators are 29A labs
, a "group of virus writers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia who pride themselves in creating "proof of concept malicious viruses,"
Countdown to impending doom in..5..4..3..
posted by Lizc
on Jul 15, 2004 -
Bloomsday Virus Inflicts James Joyce on Mobile Phone Users
The first ever computer virus that can infect mobile phones has been discovered, anti-virus software developers said today, rendering many phones virtually useless.
The virus was apparently released in time for the 100th anniversary of the eponymous literary holiday. It infects the Symbian operating system that is used in several makes of mobiles, notably the Nokia brand, and propagates through the new bluetooth wireless technology that is in several new mobile phones.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood
on Jun 16, 2004 -
New Scientist reports that
a virus has been built up from mail order components. Other reports on this are in USA Today
. This isn't time life has been created in the lab, as previously linked
What's interesting is that this study was funded by the Department of Energy
to produce a completely man made lifeform that can create hydrogen or consume greenhouse gasses.
The present virus is an artificially created copy of a naturally occurring virus.
posted by substrate
on Nov 14, 2003 -
Virus replication is a feature!
"If you are using a Macintosh e-mail program that is not from Microsoft, we recommend checking with that particular company. But most likely other e-mail programs like Eudora are not designed to enable virus replication." The original URL is 404. I wonder if Microsoft will be exerting their copyrights to force archive.org to remove this.
posted by tbc
on Oct 7, 2003 -
The smoking gun
has the arrest report
for Jeffery Lee
the kid just arrested for releasing a variant of the blaster virus.
Without spoiling much it's safe to say the kids methods were idiotic , but it's a fascinating read on how the FBI caught this guy.
posted by bitdamaged
on Sep 2, 2003 -
So I Google search
on the SoBig virus'
affinity for UDP port 8998, and the possibility it may be downloading additional programs this afternoon
(actually, right about now). Great, more filters on the routers. Hang on, what's this result
on that first search? A link to PornResource
? Why, it appears to be a news and technical site for porn site operators. News, guides, interviews, top designers
, host reviews
, even a message board
. Of course, a site billed as "The Standard for Up-To-Date Adult Webmaster News"
is NSFW. Unless you are BossHawg
, of course.
posted by dglynn
on Aug 22, 2003 -
SARS much more deadly than first estimated.
Analysis of the latest statistics on the global SARS epidemic reveals that at least 10 per cent
of people who contract the new virus will die of the disease. The low death rates of about four per cent cited until now by the World Health Organizatio n and others are the result of a statistical difficulty, well known to epidemiologists, that hampers the early analysis of new disease outbreaks. [...] A better current estimate of the deadliness of SARS may be the number of deaths as a proportion of resolved cases. Those numbers for Hong Kong, Canada and Singapore are 15.8, 18.3 and 13.7 per cent
posted by Bletch
on Apr 25, 2003 -