The spread of the Witty worm

Shannon and Moore:
The Spread of the Witty Worm:

Witty infected only about a tenth as many hosts than the next smallest widespread Internet worm. Where SQL Slammer infected between 75,000 and 100,000 computers, the vulnerable population of the Witty worm was only about 12,000 computers. Although researchers have long predicted that a fast-probing worm could infect a small population very quickly, Witty is the first worm to demonstrate this capability. While Witty took 30 minutes longer than SQL Slammer to infect its vulnerable population, both worms spread far faster than human intervention could stop them. In the past, users of software that is not ubiquitously deployed have considered themselves relatively safe from most network-based pathogens. Witty demonstrates that a remotely accessible bug in any minimally popular piece of software can be successfully exploited by an automated attack.

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