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"Computers Beware! New Type of Virus Is Loose on the Net."
A new and deceptively simple type of computer virus, one
that can sneak past security devices by hitching rides
on electronic mail and other common Internet files, is
causing deep concern among computer security officials
around the world. Mr. Schmidt of Sun says, "There are
criminals in the world and some of them are programmers.
With computer networks, they have an amplifying effect
that they've never had before. If I were a criminal with
a gun, I might attack one person. But with a computer
network, I can attack a million people at a time. It's
like an atomic bomb." To avert a potential disaster,
Mr. Schmidt has enlisted three of the world's top
computer security experts, including Tsutomo Shimomura,
Dan Farmer and Whitfield Diffie.
"Cybervirus Whodunit: Who Creates This Stuff?"
Ms. Gordon conducted detailed interviews, by electronic
mail, Internet chat, telephone and in person, with more
than 60 virus writers. "The virus writer has been
characterized by some as a bad, evil, depraved, maniac,
terrorist, technopathic, genius gone mad, sociopath."
This, she said, "is a gross oversimplification of the
"Dick Tracy, Eat Your Heart Out."
Move over, Captain Midnight. Heads up, Mata Hari. Now
anyone can have a real-life decoder ring. The ring has
a computer chip encoded with an identification number
that gives the wearer access to secret computer files or
locked rooms. The chip transmits your secret ID number
or data at the space-age speed of 16,000 bits a second.