RE: FBI Virus Alerts

From: Eaton, Arthur (AEaton@FDIC.gov)
Date: 09/29/01


Message-ID: <7EBD5E15B02AD511BE270003471B7B516AD5C1@wasexc101a.fdic.gov>
From: "Eaton, Arthur" <AEaton@FDIC.gov>
To: "'twistsiwt@hushmail.com'" <twistsiwt@hushmail.com>, incidents@securityfocus.com
Subject: RE: FBI Virus Alerts
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 18:04:11 -0400

Well, here it is now 29 hours after the post about the estimable FBI's
warning of "a flood of new Terrorist [since when is that capitalized?]
related viruses about to be released in the next couple of hours."

If there was any such wave, the viruses/worms that rode it must have
been rather puny little fellows. I think this reinforces two lessons:

(1) Beware of the integrity of messages relayed a large number of times
    [in this case, from the FBI, via Cardinal Software, via another
    software vendors rep, via Stu's boss, via Stu (who was of course
    properly skeptical), to Security Focus - i.e., you and me].

(2) Our valiant FBI agents, including the folks at the NIPC, may not be
    the ones to rely on for virus data anyway. I would sooner rely on
    CERT or CIAC. Or even A-V vendors, regardless of visions of sales.
    Of course the best source of fresh malware information, without the
    F.U.D. that we get from certain agencies, is either Security Focus
    or Bugtraq; particularly input from known persons or entities.

When we start to accept everything put out by our government without a
serious level of skepticism, we will be ready to submit - as a people -
to outlandish intrusions and stifling restrictions. We will then be
no longer citizens, but subjects (we had a revolution a couple hundred
years ago about that, you may remember). I'm sure everyone here knows
that, but it bears repeating, especially in our current situation.

Arthur Eaton
FDIC CSIRT

(By the way, it IS possible to resist the iron boot and the insolence
of office - I just recently contested a "failure to obey a lawful [it
wasn't] order and command by a police officer" in court, and won.)

Take care, stay aware.

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