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day permlink Saturday, 7 June 2003

permlink Story of the Slammer worm

Slammed!: An inside view of the worm that crashed the Internet in 15 minutes [Wired 11.07]
By 12:45 am, huge sections of the Internet began to wink out of existence.... Three hundred thousand cable modems in Portugal went dark, and South Korea fell right off the map: no cell phone or Internet service for 27 million people. Five of the Internet's 13 root-name servers - hardened systems, all - succumbed to the squall of packets. Corporate email systems jammed. Web sites stopped responding. A Linux specialist in Manhattan spammed his colleagues in uppercase to make it clear he was screaming: "MS SQL WORM IS DESTROYING INTERNET - BLOCK PORT 1434!" But by then Slammer had knocked out more than just the Internet. Emergency 911 dispatchers in suburban Seattle resorted to paper. Continental Airlines, unable to process tickets, canceled flights from its Newark hub.

By the time the news made Slashdot, seven interminable hours later, network engineers the world over had been paged from their beds to man the bucket brigade. Lost revenue spilled over halfway into the next week. Total cost of the bailout: more than $1 billion. Six months later, we still don't know who did it or when it will happen again. But we can dissect the Slammer worm and read the prophecy in its entrails: In the future, every blackhat will have 15 minutes of fame.
Cool images in the article, especially on page 2. permlink  

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