The Slammer Worm

virusOn January 25th, 2003 Slammer made it’s appearance rapidly, spreading to nearly 75,000 machines. Exploiting vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s SQL Server and MSDE database, the worm quickly attacked the buffer overflow holes in those products. Thousands of companies and organizations suffered massive downtime because of their reliance on MS SQL and unpatched machines. There were heavy slowdowns in internet traffic globally, even causing core internet routers to crash. To this day Slammer is considered the first high speed worm.

Slammer doubled in size every 8.5 seconds and infected more than 90% of the world’s vulnerable hosts within 10 minutes.

Apple G5

g52From an Apple press release:

CUPERTINO, California—August 18, 2003—Apple today announced that it has begun shipping the two single processor models of its Power Mac® G5, the world’s fastest personal computer featuring the first 64-bit desktop processor and the industry’s first 1 GHz front-side bus. The dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5 will ship late this month, as planned. Apple also announced that it has received orders for over 100,000 Power Mac G5s since its introduction on June 23.

“The Power Mac G5 is a big hit with customers and developers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The two single processor Power Mac G5 models are available now, so we wanted to get those into customers hands as soon as possible, and we’re right on track to deliver the dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5 later this month.”

Powered by the revolutionary PowerPC G5 processor designed by IBM and Apple, the Power Mac G5 is the first personal computer to utilize 64-bit processing technology for unprecedented memory expansion and advanced 64-bit computation, while running existing 32-bit applications natively.

Delivering the industry’s highest system bandwidth, the Power Mac G5 line offers dual 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processors, each with an independent 1 GHz front-side bus, for an astounding 16 GBps of bandwidth. The line also features the industry’s highest bandwidth memory (400 MHz 128-bit DDR SDRAM with throughput up to 6.4 GBps); the industry’s fastest PCI interface available on a desktop (133 MHz PCI-X); and cutting-edge AGP 8X Pro graphics capabilities, all within a stunning new professional aluminum enclosure featuring innovative computer-controlled cooling for quiet operation.

The two single processor models of the Power Mac G5 are available through the Apple Store® (, at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:

1.6 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5 processor;
800 MHz front-side bus;
256MB 333 MHz 128-bit DDR memory;
4 DIMMs, 4GB maximum memory;
80GB Serial ATA hard drive;
AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64MB DDR graphics card;
3 PCI slots (64-bit, 33 MHz); and
4x SuperDrive™.

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $2,399 (US), includes:

1.8 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5 processor;
900 MHz front-side bus;
512MB 400 MHz 128-bit DDR memory;
8 DIMMs, 8GB maximum memory;
160GB Serial ATA hard drive;
AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra-64MB DDR graphics card;
3 PCI-X slots (one 64-bit, 133 MHz, two 64-bit 100 MHz); and
4x SuperDrive.

The Power Mac G5, with a suggested retail price of $2,999 (US), includes:

Dual 2.0 GHz 64-bit PowerPC G5 processors;
Dual Independent 1 GHz front-side buses;
512MB 400 MHz 128-bit DDR memory;
8 DIMMs, 8GB maximum memory;
160GB Serial ATA hard drive;
AGP 8X Pro graphics slot;
RADEON 9600 Pro-64MB DDR graphics card;
3 PCI-X slots (one 64-bit 133 MHz, two 64-bit 100 MHz); and
4x SuperDrive.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.

Athlon 64

athlonFrom an AMD press release:

SAN FRANCISCO — September 23, 2003 –AMD (NYSE: AMD) today marked the next frontier in computing, introducing the world’s first and only Windows-compatible 64-bit PC processor – the AMD Athlon™ 64 FX processor – and paving the way for a jaw-dropping PC experience. The AMD Athlon 64 FX processor delivers what no other PC processor can: the highest overall 32-bit performance for today’s demanding applications and the power of 64-bit computing for the next wave of software.

Specifically designed for gamers, PC enthusiasts and digital content creators, the AMD Athlon 64 FX processor is the most technically advanced and highest performing 32-bit and 64-bit PC processor in the world. Systems based on the AMD Athlon 64 FX processor enable a “cinematic computing” experience that is immersive, interactive and provides a new level of realism not available today except from DVD-quality films.

“AMD is taking a lead role in shaping the future of the computing industry by putting the power of AMD64 technology at the fingertips of PC users around the world,” said Hector Ruiz, president and chief executive officer of AMD. “The growing number of people looking for cinema-quality PC performance that transforms imagination into reality can now fully realize their dreams.

The Sobig Worm

virusThe Sobig-F worm appeared in August of 2003, not long after the Blaster worm. It went down in history as the fastest spreading virus ever. Carrying it’s own internal SMTP engine, it was able to email copies of itself at an explosive rate.

The Blaster Worm

virusThe Blaster worm appeared in early August of 2003 and promptly infected millions of PCs because of a security flaw in Microsoft’s Windows OS. The hole allowed the worm to download itself to vulnerable systems, which meant it didn’t require any action by the user to infect the machine. It was also designed to launch a denial of service attack against Microsoft’s Windows Update site, where users could download a patch to protect themselves from the vulnerability. Two variants of the worm later appeared; Blaster B and Welchia.

View the original CERT advisory.

GPS Bombs

gpsbombsCNN article; February 9th, 1998
Military researchers have developed a new bomb that is guided by satellites instead of lasers so pilots can hit their targets even during cloudy weather.

During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, pilots couldn’t always hit their targets with laser-guided bombs in cloudy weather because clouds interfere with the lasers. If pilots flew beneath the cloud cover to guarantee a hit, they risked exposure to Iraqi anti-aircraft fire.

So the Pentagon ordered researchers at Eglin Air Force Base to develop a solution to the problem. The scientists say they have.

“We’ve capitalized on the ability to use the Global Positioning System,” said scientist Frank Robbins. “We can strike the Earth where we want, in all weather, day or night.”

The Global Positioning System, or GPS, is a series of orbiting satellites developed by the military to pinpoint specific locations on the Earth’s surface.

DVD Burners

dvdrwShort for DVD-Rewritable, a re-recordable DVD format similar to DVD+RW. The data on a DVD-RW disc can be erased and recorded over numerous times without damaging the medium. DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM are supported by Panasonic, Toshiba, Apple Computer, Hitachi, NEC, Pioneer, Samsung, and Sharp.