YOU can control a million hosts on the Internet, and do enormous damage 05-24-2002 09:03:12 AM CST -- Paper for Presentation at Security 02 Conference If you can control a million hosts on the Internet, you can do enormous damage. First, you can launch distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks so immensely diffuse that mitigating them is well beyond the state-of-the-art for DDOS traceback and protection technologies. Such attacks could readily bring down e- commerce sites, news outlets, command and coordination infrastructure, specific routers, or the root name servers. Second, you can access any sensitive information present on any of those million machines--passwords, credit card numbers, address books, archived email, patterns of user activity, illicit content-- even blindly searching for a "needle in a haystack," i.e., information that might be on a computer somewhere in the Internet, for which you trawl using a set of content keywords. Third, not only can you access this information, but you can sow confusion and disruption by corrupting the information, or sending out false or confidential information directly from a user's desktop. In short, if you could control a million Internet hosts, the potential damage is truly immense: on a scale where such an attack could play a significant role in warfare between nations or in the service of terrorism....continued.... Click here to read this thoroughly interesting Paper which is scheduled for Presentation at the Security02 Conference: http://www.icir.org/vern/papers/cdc-usenix-sec02/index.html In this paper they examine the spread of several recent worms that infected hundreds of thousands of hosts within hours, showed that some of these worms remain endemic on the Internet, explain that better-engineered worms could spread in minutes or even tens of seconds rather than hours, and could be controlled, modified, and maintained indefinitely, posing an ongoing threat of use in attack on a variety of sites and infrastructures.