http://vmyths.com/rant.cfm by Rob Rosenberger 02/03/03 STOP THE PRESSES! Our longtime readers know of a firm called mi2g. They issued a "news alert" earlier today: Seven hours after the Columbia shuttle tragedy a hacking group struck down nine servers belonging to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The digital attacks were recorded around 22:15 GMT and carried on in succession until 23:54 GMT. All nine JPL.NASA.GOV servers were running on the Sun Solaris operating system at the time. You can buy the rest of this "news alert" from mi2g for "GBP 50 + VAT." I kid you not. "Buy"? Agh! Why does this stuff always happen when I forget to lay down a bet? A virus expert who asked for anonymity offered this gem (paraphrased): "I think there will soon be an email worm with 'Details of Columbia disaster' in the subject line. Hype PR from antivirus firms will follow it." I couldn't agree more. I failed to place a bet last time, but I won't fail again. Give me $2 on Panda Software. My previous column seemed to appeal to U.S. government & military workers -- but it didn't sit well with the antivirus industry. Virus expert Henri Delger (independent) disowned me over it. He removed every Vmyths link from his website and he even set up his computer to reject my emails. Delger made it clear -- some truths are too callous to be told. Virus analyst Patrick Nolan (Fortinet) berated me in Usenet's alt.comp.virus newsgroup: Any sponsorship of your site would be naive not to withdraw based on one sentence from that page => "Thank goodness the shuttle disintegrated on a Saturday!" Nothing is sacred, is it. Free speech, free thought, shall reign supreme. Blah. And you never had a relative who tragically lost their life. Perhaps you've never seen a large volume of research vanish in seconds. And perhaps I'd like to say what I really think, but I won't. "I'd like to say what I really think, but I won't." Hmph. Nolan will never make a good pundit. (Some trivia: Nolan disowned me in 2001 after I called him "ethical" in a column. I've since changed my mind about him.) I stand by my previous column. Somebody needed to say it and we know Nolan won't grab a soapbox. mi2g proved my point. Others will prove my point, too. Reporters offered mixed reactions to my previous column. One reporter (I'll offer him anonymity) replied with an astute critique. "I just think you're doing a disservice to your mission when you start lumping all of us together." Guilty as charged: I paint journalists with a very wide brush. His observation led me to send an email to a short list of savvy reporters: A virus named after Columbia will earn tons of ink no matter how obscure the threat. If you file computer stories on a regular basis, then you'll have no choice in the matter. You WILL file a story about the virus. The tragedy will force your hand. A dozen alerts from antivirus firms will force your hand. A hundred bylines will force your hand. Your editor will force your hand! Remember to smile when your editor asks "why haven't you done a story about the shuttle virus?" I absolve you in advance. VMYTHS FIGHTS COMPUTER virus hysteria. If you look at the top of this page, you'll see our slogan begins with the word "truth." It doesn't begin with "sugar coated truth." It doesn't begin with "politically correct truth." You need sugar coated sympathy? Then you definitely don't want to read my previous column. Go visit Delger's website instead. He'll give you virus advice mixed with a touching tribute to the Columbia shuttle crew. You need a virus expert who won't say what he really thinks? Then you definitely don't want to read my previous column. Go read Nolan's tripe instead. He'll treat you just like a mushroom. I have spoken. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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