Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Spammers attack anti-spam website

It seems that Lycos is attempting to attack spammers, according to this article, by providing a grid computing-based DDoS "screen saver" similar to the SETI at home and protein folding services.

But in an ironic twist, the Lycos website was attacked by spammers and brought down in a possible DDoS attack. This all brought a thought to mind: Are people with malicious intent always more resourceful and determined than those that do good? Or is it simply that there is more of them?

A work colleague suggested that due to the complexity of interconnected computer systems, it is always easier to attack than defend. If you consider that any piece of software of note that was ever released has been hacked, this theory seems to be on the ball.

Software companies spend countless money trying to make their systems or software "un-hackable" and yet this has not yet proved to be so. This includes systems that should be the epitome of the term "secure", such as the FBI's computer systems.

Another contributing factor is that hackers generally have large egos. Its far easier to be recognised and revered in the community if you've hacked into some secure system or cracked some software. No one has won any awards or accolades for writing the best security system in the world, yet, because no such thing exists. Naturally if you are handy with your hacking skills, you are likely to lean towards the dark side.

In my humble opinion, there is no end in sight in the fight against hackers. But have some software companies gone too far? Consider Valve and their "Steam" online authorisation software...

More on that later.

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