Many IT decision
makers will be waiting in angst to see what forays will transpire on the eve
of the new millenium in regards to Y2K computer glitches. At this same time,
hackers will be out in full-force concocting what could turn into the biggest
hackfest we've seen yet. While CIOs, IT directors, and network administrators,
get ulcers over Y2K, computer snafus much more serious than Y2K will be complicating
an already precarious and unknown outcome as hackers use the Y2K opportunity
as a cover for unsavory non-Y2K related hack sessions.
President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion has asked hackers to spare our nation
a day of reprieve from hacking stating "We're going to have enough things going
on that weekend that this will not be a particularly good weekend to demonstrate
the need for more information security."
seen an increase in virus activity in the run up to the 31st, especially worms
that are spread by email systems. An example is the NewApt worm that was discovered
on December 14th," says Ian Poynter, president of computer security consulting
firm Jerboa Inc. in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. "I'm sure that there will be some security-related fall-out in
organizations that are well prepared for Y2K. Along with more standard technical
measures, we're recommending an increase in user education. Raising user awareness
of security issues increases the likelihood of catching things that slip through
a company's defenses."
There is a
lot more to watch out for than simple epic date mishaps. Viruses disguised as
Y2K bugs as well as Y2K fix scripts is just one thing to watch for. Be on the
look for strange financial transactions that cross global time-zone boundaries.
In fact, any out of the ordinary file transfers that cross global time-zone
may be reason for concern.
- Do everything you can to secure your networks and systems before December
won't impact your business, disconnect your corporate network from the Internet
from noon on December 31st to noon on January 1.
re-usable password files that are exposed to the Internet through crack
or l0phtcrack to identify insecure passwords beforehand so that they can
be changed as necessary.
network for well-known security exploits and remedy all vulnerabilities
before December 31st.
that your syslogd and other system loggers are generating good and useable
log files before December 31st.
that care about Y2K will have already performed their Y2K due diligence.
Any Y2K fix scripts seen running in a system's process table as the new
millennium rolls in may be cause for concern.
and organization should have a security engineer on-call on New Year's Eve.