Feeds

Korean Net users blame MS for Slammer carnage

Is Redmond culpable?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Korean Net users are threatening Microsoft with legal action over the damage inflicted on the country's broadband infrastructure by the Slammer worm.

Korea Times reports that the splendidly named People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) group is considering filing a class action suit against the software giant. The civic rights group contends that Microsoft failed to do enough to help its customers fix a flaw in SQL Server, which was exploited by the prolific worm.

Microsoft issued a patch for the SQL Server vulnerability last July but it wasn't widely applied, even by the software giant itself whose network fell over because of the Slammer worm over the weekend of January 25 and 26.

Meanwhile in Korea, "almost all KT [Korea Telecom] customers lost their connections during the attack", according to wire reports. Other ISPs, most notably Hanaro Telecom Inc., were also hit hard by the worm.

Slammer effectively paralysed the country's Net infrastructure, and the PSPD has signed up 3,000 users to take part in its putative legal action against Microsoft.

It is far from clear that Microsoft can be held liable under "product liability law" for the flaws in its products when it has already released a patch. And is it fair to lay the blame for Slammer solely at Microsoft's door?

Microsoft's patch was hard to apply (and judging from Redmond's own experiences) not necessarily a complete fix for the problem for people running large networks. That doesn't get away from the responsibility of service providers, in Korean and elsewhere, to protect their customers against the risk of attack.

Disgruntled users would do well to quiz their ISPs on why they didn't have traffic management and filtering technology in place to deal with the attack.

The blame for the Net-paralysing effects of Slammer falls on the head of whoever created Slammer in the first place, of course.

But since these vandals remain unidentified, users are looking for someone identifiable to sue.

Microsoft (like other software vendors) has a responsibility to make its software secure, but let's not forget the criminal blame for the Slammer epidemic lies elsewhere. ®

Related Stories

ATMs, ISPs hit by Slammer worm spread
MS struggles to contain the Slammer worm
SQL worm slams the Net
'Secure by design', claims MS op-ed ad
Out of the Slammer

External Links

SQL Slammer worm advisory by security tools firm ISS

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.