[cap-talk] The Limits of POLA's Utility - Social Engineering

Karp, Alan H alan.karp at hp.com
Wed Jun 7 13:06:12 EDT 2006

Ian G wrote:
> > There is a better example of a deal with the devil.  The most secure
> > home machines are zombies.  In exchange for allowing the 
> controller to
> > send spam in the middle of the night, the user gets a 
> machine protected
> > from other malware.  That's a true symbiotic relationship.
> Ha!  Any evidence of that?  Has that been
> seen in the wild?
I read that factoid in an article in Information Security a year or more
ago.  It's quite reasonable given the value of the zombie to the
controller.  As I recall, the first thing the controller does is clean
up spyware and trojans found on the machine.  Next, the controller
installs a custom virus scanner and firewall that keeps everyone else
out.  Heck.  I'd sign up for that service.

Alan Karp
Principal Scientist
Virus Safe Computing Initiative
Hewlett-Packard Laboratories 
1501 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
(650) 857-3967, fax (650) 857-7029
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