RealNews

Delivering the 12kb Bomb

The average size of email-bourne viruses so far this year has been well under 20 kilobytes. A young virus writer, sitting in his underwear in his parent’s dark basement, takes a hex editor and modifies a few bytes of the latest Netsky.M (16.5kb), Beagle.J (12kb) or Mydoom.G (20kb) mutation, spawns a new virus variant, and then releases it into the wild. The resulting few thousand compromised machines, a conservative estimate perhaps, will sit naked as drones or “bots” on the Internet, waiting patiently for their summons and commands. A mere 12 kilobytes of action-packed code is impressive. For a 12 kilobyte Beagle, you get total system compromise, plus a highly effective spam engine. This short column, in comparison, is about 29kb of plain text and HTML. A 12 kilobyte binary is thus very small. The latest code that brings a Microsoft computer to its knees is small enough that it could be silk-screened onto an extra-large t-shirt: a walking time bomb, if you will. With today’s monolithic software programs and operating systems, often barely fitting compressed on a CD-ROM, it’s easy to see how small bits of malicious code can slip under the radar. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.