Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Keeping the Industry's Secrets

When a segment of the media gets too close to its industry, you get some strange outcomes. One of those is that the press tries to respect the secrets of the industry, instead of trying to uncover and report them.

Over the last 24 hours, the wires have started lighting up with reports of a new malware, Serchmeup, which downloads a slew of exploits into the target machine. The journalists don't notice that the name given by virus experts is the same as another malware that's been around for more than a year, which is bound to create confusion, but that's trivial.

What's not trivial is this: Searchmeup infects users who visit a malicious Website. In other words, the attacker has a URL with a public face, which exists only to slap users with the dangerous download. That site - or those sites - also have IP addresses and registrations and all the other details assocated with hosting a Web site.

So what do the journalists tell us about the sites which are distributing Searchmeup?

Nothing. Not a sausage. Not a single word. They're respecting the secrets of the sources; for some reason, the antivirus companies want to distribute the warning about Searchmeup without telling people where it is so they can stay away.

Even a little curiousity would have been nice to see.

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