Updated: 5/16/2006; 11:33:50 AM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Monday, February 23, 2004


Spam zombies on home broadband: "Spammers increasingly are exploiting home computers with high-speed Internet connections into which they've cleverly burrowed... 

Steve Atkins, chief technology officer at the anti-spam consultancy Word to the Wise LLC, said some ISPs continue to be plagued by open-relay techniques, but spammers generally don't bother with them anymore because it's so much easier to have success with home machines. Where much of the spam previously flowed through China, South Korea, Brazil and other countries whose ISPs left many relays open, it's now being hastened by a North American trend: more high-speed cable and DSL connections at home. "

The Register reports on a ring of zombies:  "German magazine c't says it has evidence that virus writers are selling the IP addresses of PCs infected with Trojans to spammers. Spammers use these infected systems to unlawfully distribute commercial email messages, without the knowledge of their owners. 

The Trojan involved was spread by a virus called Randex. This small program contacted its 'master' through the chat protocol IRC. It was programmed to look for CD keys of games, or secretly load additional software. The Trojan was also able to install a proxy server which can be used to relay spam through the infected PCs.  

A college student managed to track down the distributor of a computer virus in the UK, and the editorial staff of c't was then able to buy access to the infected machines.  cít passed on all the information to New Scotland Yard and several individuals in different countries have been arrested, the magazine claims."

It is also worth remembering that MyDoom installs a trojan that could be applied for this.

  6:15:09 PM  permalink  

In health, Canada tops U.S.: "An impressive array of data shows that Canadians live longer, healthier lives than we do. What's more, they pay roughly half as much per capita as we do ($2,163 versus $4,887 in 2001) for the privilege. ..

According to a World Health Organization report published in 2003, life expectancy at birth in Canada is 79.8 years, versus 77.3 in the U.S. (Japan's is 81.9.) "There isn't a single measure in which the U.S. excels in the health arena," says Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, a senior lecturer in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle. "We spend half of the world's healthcare bill and we are less healthy than all the other rich countries."  ..

During the last quarter-century, he says, all income groups in Canada also showed gains in life expectancy. During much the same period in the U.S., death rates widened between America's rich and poor, "

  8:15:01 AM  permalink  

 

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 11:33:50 AM.