Some cheese with your worm?


— 11:47 AM on May 17, 2001

CNet's got the scoop on a cheesy Linux worm. What makes this noteworthy is not that there's a worm out for Linux, but that this one appears to be doing some good.

This worm appears to be different, however: Dubbed the Cheese worm, the program is basically a self-spreading patch. It enters servers that have already have been compromised by a previous bit of malicious code--the 3-month-old 1i0n worm--and closes the back door behind it, adding security to the system.
Nice to have a virus do some good for once, but upon further consideration, maybe it's not such a good thing after all.
That doesn't mean that such a "patch worm" is good, Houle said. "The idea of a patch worm is a nice thought, but it is not a solution," he said. "Essentially, it's doing the same thing that any intruder does, which is to modify a system in an unauthorized way and use it to attack other sites."
It's an interesting question to ask. Are constructive worms a good thing? Regardless of the bandwidth they take up and the fact that they help without asking? For Joe Poweruser they might be a pain, an affront to personal privacy. To Joe Sixpack, however, could they be a godsend?
 
   
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