The idea of computers becoming self aware is a theory of many and the plot of innumerable famous and not-so-famous movies like 2001:A Space Odyssey and The Net, respectively. This blog post isn’t about this exact premise, but what if computers became zombies set out to destroy other networks of computers simply by running a malicious code? Could any kind of computer repair reverse what had been done?
Interestingly enough, The Straits Times had a report this week about more than 30,000 so-called ‘zombie’ computers that had been grouped together in a massive cyber attack on South Korean government websites. According to the article:
“The web sites of about 30 government agencies and financial institutions came under a so-called ‘distributed denial-of-service’ (DDoS) attack for a second day on Saturday but suffered minor damage, thanks to the distribution of anti-virus programmes and government alerts on the cyber attack, officials at the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said.”
The most maniacal part of these zombie PCs was their ability to supersede any kind of vaccine program download. If such a program was downloaded, the whole hard drive would be destructed. Even if this action wasn’t taken, the zombie computers were ready to wipe the hard drives anyway:
“The zombie computers were forecast to destroy their respective hard drives four or seven days after they had been hit by the malicious codes. The earlier-than-expected damage, however, came on the heels of new orders that were led by servers that spread out the DDoS attacks.”
This attack was so intense that the South Korean government has grouped with eight other countries’ law enforcement agencies to attempt to decode exactly where it originated. The United States, Japan and Taiwan are all a part of the ongoing investigation.