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Lying dormant cyber pathogen

Posted by on March 8, 2016.

For those of you who are concerned about lying dormant cyber pathogens I have some advice:

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

You see, I’ve got one.  Actually, I’ve got more than one.

Why not?  I’ve been studying cyber pathogens, also known as “malware,” for three decades.  I’ve got binders full of the things, from back when floppy disks were the last word in storage.  I’ve got directories full of them, on every computer I own.  (Yes, even the Mac.)  I’ve got them on my backups, and on my external drives.

All dormant.

(I should, at this point, mention that my brother once discovered lying dormant cyber pathogen protection.  He was talking to a group who were certain they needed no advice on security, since someone had put an antivirus on their computer.  My brother investigated further, and found there was, indeed, an antivirus program on the computer: in an archive file, not unarchived, and not installed.  That protection was lying pretty dormant.)

I should also mention that these cyber pathogens are lying dormant, not necessarily that these dormant cyber pathogens are trying to mislead you.  Although that is probably true as well, since social engineering has almost always been a factor with cyber pathogens.

Actually, what I’m most concerned about is that “lying dormant cyber pathogen” might become a term that people actually worry about, like “advanced persistent threat.”  (For any threat, there exists a victim such that the threat is either advanced, or persistent, or both.)  The sky is not falling.


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Submitted in: Expert Views, News_malware, Rob Slade, Security |