Worms and the Internet


By Howard Stanislevic

Computer Network Engineer

May 16, 2007


Any computer on the Internet without a firewall is directly exposed to worms. It takes about 8 seconds for a vulnerable system to become infected. That's it -- 8 seconds on the Internet, depending on where the nearest worm happens to be!  I've seen it happen in real time in the real world.  I used to do worm removal and it's not pretty.


The idea that any voting system should be allowed to be connected to the Internet by unqualified I.T. non-specialists is ludicrous.


A worm can breach a firewall if the firewall is not properly configured. This can happen either deliberately or accidentally, but new worms are being written and released on an ongoing basis, so sometimes, old configurations may become vulnerable even though they used to be safe. It's also trivial for an insider to reconfigure a firewall and allow a given machine to become infected  -- in about 8 seconds.


Connecting voter registration databases to the Internet leaves them wide open to denial of service attacks from worms and other sources.


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