Sasser, Big Broadband Numbers

Top Stories: - Sasser worm - Broadband and unbundling

Top Stories:

- Sasser worm

- Broadband and unbundling

- Sasser

Security flaw announced, worm developed, patches released, worm released, chaos ensues, journalist writes stories, fingers pointed, blame laid blah blah blah.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about Sasser. It’s not the most destructive worm around, it’s not the most virulent, but it’s here, it’s the nastiest so far this year and while it’s busy infecting banks (banks of all places! You know, the ones that like to tell you how to secure your money), it’s also knocked out the UK coastguard’s PCs. Luckily they don’t rely on their computers for anything life threatening (or saving) so they carried on regardless.

Gartner has a lovely report that says the cost of patching, securing, updating and blathering about worms has driven the cost of running Windows up dramatically.

Surely this is a great selling point for non-Microsoft systems? Surely if we diversified our PC fleets (farms? hives?) we would all be less prone to outages and disasters when worms strike? All told it’s making the Apple and Linux crowds look almost sane and that’s saying something as all those Apple fans who wrote in about the NZ Apple store not running on Apple software can attest to. By golly! What a vocal lot you are.

And as one FryUp wag wrote, the Sasser worm is so named because it takes advantage of the SASS hole. Really, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

Worm crashes Coastguard computers - Independent (UK)

Westpac gets hit by Sasser - Computerworld Online

Australians stung by Sasser - Computerworld Online

- Broadband and unbundling

The whole thing’s getting quite busy just at the moment.

On the one hand we’ve got Paul “no comment” Swain saying, well, nothing about his upcoming session with cabinet over whether to accept, reject or send back telco commissioner Douglas Webb’s recommendation not to unbundle the local loop, while at the same time the Auckland Chamber of Commerce is conducting a survey of members that finds well over 90% are desperate for a truly open telecommunications market.

And then, of course, Telecom’s latest quarterly figures have put a warm glow in the hearts of all MPs who have shares in Telecom (and the other proto-retirees) as the numbers are through the roof.

Revenue from JetStream alone has increased by 69% for the nine months to the end of March and currently Telecom’s claiming to have 103,000 JetStream connections with 67,000 of them residential. No word on the ratio of non-broadband to just-broadband, but hey, I’m not one to complain. The more the merrier. As soon as we hit a serious number in terms of broadband users then we’ll see some action on pricing. Surely. Surely we’re not just going to make do with 256Kbit/s for the rest of our days? My 2Mbit/s connection is as slow as I’d want to go. I want more from here on in but for that it looks like I’ll either have to go to Wellington and TelstraClear or CityLink or stick around to see what Wired Country’s wireless offering is capable of.

Speaking of serious numbers, Telecom’s confident of reaching its 100,000 residential broadband customers by the end of the year. How confident? Well it’s so confident it's extended that goal to reaching 250,000 residential customers by the end of next year. Now that is a proper goal and if we reach that the prices should come tumbling down.

Telecom has an incentive now, it would seem, to get the broadband thing right. If the minister isn’t going to reject Webb’s recommendations, and I have to say it’s looking less likely that he will, then Telecom has dodged the bullet and needs to prove that it’s serious about wholesale in the years ahead.

There aren’t any stories up on the Telecom announcements yet - both were made about an hour ago (FryUp standard time) so you’ll need to Google for yourselves I’m afraid.

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