Sunday, August 10, 2008

Are you part of the Pipeline War?

Wired Magazine notes that Georgia is under online attack, with most official government websites unavailable for days.

Due to the nature of distributed computing, the sheer numbers of compromised PCs and the cloaked nature of modern botnets, it is difficult to determine how much of the online attack is by a government, by outside groups whom the government tacitly encourages, or by those wholly outside the realm of government involvement and knowledge.

This reveals an unsettling facet of this war: you might be an unknowing participant.

If a virus (or trojan etc.) infects your computer, then your computer may be among the many thousands of other computers around the world sending Internet traffic to Georgia websites. This is called a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS.

As always, make sure your computer has up-to-date software. Update Windows, update your anti-virus software, and manually run a scan if you so inclined. It can't hurt. Pay attention and notice if your Internet connection or computer seems unusually slow.

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