[ISN] FBI blows Code Red all-clear

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Sun Aug 19 2001 - 23:49:36 PDT

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "[ISN] Student 'soldiers' help feds fight cyberterrorism"

    By Thomas C Greene in Washington
    Posted: 18/08/2001 at 19:35 GMT
    The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) has issued
    a bulletin stating that "the Internet threat posed by Code Red when it
    changes from a scanning mode to an active distributed denial of
    service (DDoS) mode at 8pm (EDT) on August 19, 2001 is significantly
    All right, that's correct in a sense, but it's still misleading. The
    threat to the Internet never existed in the first place, as we've made
    clear in increasingly satirical coverage of the doomsayers'
    prognostications from the outset.
    What they ought to have said is that the imaginary threat to the
    Internet, which world and dog have been hooting about over the past
    eight weeks, now looks to them like the non-story we told you it was
    from day one.
    Not so fast
    However, there is still a significant threat here, though for some
    reason all the world's Net security experts, laid end-to-end, have
    been unable to reach it.
    So we'll break it down for you one more time: Both versions of Code
    Red cause infected machines to scan for additional victims. By
    scanning, they're broadcasting their IPs to the world, letting us know
    that they're vulnerable to the .ida hole which the worm exploits.
    This is a crucial tidbit because the .ida hole can give up
    system-level access to a vulnerable machine. Systems infected with
    Code Red One require that the attacker know how to exploit the hole,
    which is far from brain surgery but it does require some knowledge or
    at least a bit of reading. Those infected with Code Red Two have a
    little Trojan installed automatically, which lets even clueless
    newbies Telnet in without the slightest difficulty.
    This is, always has been, and always will be the true threat of Code
    Red, and it's actually quite serious if you happen to have anything on
    your system which you'd prefer not to share with anonymous Web
    It also happens to be the most under-reported aspect of it, because
    the media greatly prefer feeding on fantasies of world catastrophe
    over real nuts-and-bolts problems.
    Our expectations of the media are already so low that we have trouble
    even caring about how poor their coverage was. But we can, and should,
    expect better from NIPC. If the new Director, Ron Dick, is going to
    revive the Center and improve its reputation, then he's got to ensure
    that it doesn't hype imaginary threats while turning a blind eye to
    less-than-sexy real ones.
    ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org
    To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY
    of the mail.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Aug 20 2001 - 02:35:41 PDT