Thu, Oct 27, 2011 -- 8:00 PM
The Computer History Museum Presents: Worm: The First Digital World WarDownload audio (MP3)
When the Conficker computer worm was unleashed in November 2008, experts didn't know what to make of it. The worm grew at an astonishingly rapid rate, infecting millions of computers around the world within weeks. It was able to form a single network under illicit outside control -- a situation known as a "botnet." This botnet was soon capable of overpowering vital networks that control banking, telephone service, energy flow, air traffic, health care information -- even the Internet itself. Was it a platform for criminal profit, or a weapon? Security experts don't know for sure what Conficker's purpose is, or even where it came from. John Markoff of The New York Times moderates a conversation about the Conficker worm and the wages of digital war with author Mark Bowden and T. J. Camapana, senior program manager for Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit. Bowden's book "Worm: The First Digital World War," is about the next frontier in terrorism.