Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Botnet Threat



The internet is a network of linked
computing systems. A botnet is a linked network of hijacked computers that can be used to attack networks or even entities as large as an entire country’s network, making it a type of mini-internet within the net.

How: The huge number of computers that comprise the botnet allow it to execute brute force attacks, overwhelming defenses through Directed Denial of Service (DDoS) or through massive spam flooding. Malicious code is spread through attachments sent in email: this code forces the subverted computer to perform automated tasks on command. Other infection methods have included a subverted Republican Party website and exploiting YouTube and Yahoo applications.

Where: Due to its distributed nature, there is no known primary location for the largest botnets.

Numbers: The Storm botnet has been variously
estimated at between 160,000 and 50 million slaved computers. Nugache is a more recently identified botnet.


Some botnets have responded with apparently automated defensive attacks directed towards researchers and anti-spam software vendors. Recoding its viral code twice an hour has been one propagation technique that has allowed botnet code to infect despite antiviral/malware protections on some






Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pistol Match AAR

Saturday I shot an IDPA-style pistol match with Johnny and Matt. Because of the Texas heat, the typical cover garment requirement was waived. Wanting to train as we (would) fight, the three of us all used cover garments, anyway.

I work to be honest, but let me be clear: I have fired handguns in the last year only when on my week-long hunting trip in late December. (I do practice presentation/drawing usually a few times a week.) In the previous year, I believe I also only went to the shooting range once. This is not something I suggest to anyone who is serious about his weaponcraft- who uses a firearm- but I want to describe the situation. I told Matt I would probably be the slowest shooter out there, but that I would be safe, and I would be accurate. I succeeded in one of those goals.

My rig for the match was a Glock 19, firing full power handloads with 124-grain Remington hollow points. I had a double magazine pouch on my left side. As the match began, I felt incredibly slow, like I was trapped in molasses. I also found that I was not hitting every target, at least to the standard required in the match (I DID hit every target, except for one "dropper" that briefly swung sideways as it fell). I also found I had an unfortunate tendency, due to the course layout, to slay virtually everything in front of me. Fortunately, in the real world, I'm unlikely to have to engage a line of hostiles evenly spaced with hostages, while shooting one-handed!

Towards the end of the match, one of the other shooters gave me some advice.
"Hey, slow down. You're fast- look at this." He showed me a very respectable time for my first split, or double shots on target. I had drawn and fired two shots onto my first target in 1.3 seconds. "That is FAST. Now, what you need to do, is just take an extra second, and you'll be a lot more accurate."

I thanked him sincerely. I repeated what I'd been told to Matt, and he showed me the video he'd taken of me. Holy cow. I'd had no idea. I'd felt like I was moving in slow motion.

Johnny was the man I wanted to be during the match. Shooting a 3" Model 10, he just...didn't miss.

Matt was extremely accurate and surprisingly fast with a Model 37 at close range, but had slow going reloading his 5 shooter, and had trouble hitting distant targets.

Lessons learned:

o Duty-sized guns are more accurate at distance, faster overall, and quicker to reload than smaller pieces.
o Fast is good, and accurate is better, but fast and accurate beats both.
o Practice, practice, practice.
o Don't be a hostage.

(S&W model number edited.)