Computer Weekly "CW 360º", © 2001 ComputerWeekly.com Ltd

Transcript of Computer Weekly’s online video on the Code Red worm, interview with DK Matai

Friday, August 06 2001 - Simon Moores, the Chairman of the Microsoft Forums, told us:"problems such as Code Red will continue to reveal flaws in Microsoft software", adding however that he "didn’t believe the blame could be laid solely at Microsoft’s door". One suggested solution is wide-scale use of Open Source software within large corporations, enabling teams of software engineers to develop patches in real time as more and more vulnerabilities come to light. We spoke to DK Matai, Managing Director the security firm mi2g software: "the whole question of building better software is a very important question. We at mi2g believe that proprietary software systems - where the source code of the software is not released by the manufacturer - will find it increasingly difficult to cope with the number of alerts that will carry on being generated. Within the Open Source movement, there is a solution. If the software is Open Source denominated, it allows thousands of software programmers from around the world to come up with vulnerability patches and perhaps this points to a way forward in Open Source solutions. If we look at the 360,000 computers that were infected around July the 19th - at the peak of the Code Red worm - it is quite clear that, having disseminated this worm across the world, unless prophylactic action was taken, we would have ended up with a real problem on the 1st of August. So I don't think that the Government or Microsoft were crying wolf. A variety of Government bodies as well as the private sector have worked in close collaboration with each other, as has the media. In this instance, the media has played a very big part in helping to ward off the crisis. So, I think that as far as the future is concerned, people have to recognise that their computer servers are not inert black boxes, but they are like living organisms, and there is a necessity to ensure that these living organisms are constantly dealt with and the threat, from the security perspective, is looked at as a live threat, which has to be dealt with on a 24-hours 365 days basis. If the frame of mind becomes one of looking at the threat on a daily basis, that’s where one will find the solution to cope with these kinds of problems."

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