Decade's Top Ten Technology Panics

Monday, January 10, 2011

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PCWorld's Sarah Jacobsson Purewal offers up her picks for the top ten technology stories of the last ten years that put the world in a pucker.

Some of the items are expected, and some obvious choices are not in the mix. Nonetheless, they make for an interesting read and good fodder for reminiscing some of the low-lights of the past decade.

A summary of Purewal's ensemble are as follows:

1. Y2K - Year: 2000 - Many computing systems used two digits to store the year, and so the rollover from 99 to 00 could cause various logic errors that would cause the system to fail...

2. Conficker Worm - Years: 2008-2009 - Conficker spread in three ways: It attacked vulnerability in the Microsoft Server service, it guessed administrator passwords, and it infected removable devices with an autorun...

3.Mydoom - Years: 2004-2009 - If the victim ran the attachment, the worm would not only send itself out to everyone on any address book it could find but also would attach itself to any copies of Kazaa to spread via peer-to-peer networks...

4. Anonymous - Year: Reported in 2007 - Crimes--Internet annoyances, really--that have been attributed to Anonymous include DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on various Websites and assorted cases of Internet vigilantism...

5. RFID Tracking - Years: 2002-Present - RFID technology has been heavily criticized, and it's not hard to see why: Even if manufacturers put chips in products without intending to invade people's privacy, the technology can be exploited easily...

6. ILOVEYOU Virus - Year: 2000 - Once the victim opened the file, the worm would send copies of the e-mail to the first 50 contacts in the user's Windows Address Book, and then make changes to the system...

7. Technology Crashes Planes - Years: 2000-Present - That's right, the TSA will take away your bottled water and your nail file, but they'll let you keep your smartphone--despite the fact that the in-flight crew will warn all passengers to turn off their cell phones for the duration of the flight or face dire consequences...

8. Witty Worm - Year: 2004 - The Witty worm, first detected in 2004, was an important, scary computer virus for a number of reasons--namely, it was the first worm to carry a malicious "payload" that slowly destroyed the host computers it infected...

9. Koobface - Years: 2008-Present (new variants) - Koobface has infected an estimated 500,000 computers, and it spreads easily because it sends messages to "friends" of infected Facebook users, usually with tantalizing, legitimate-sounding subject lines...

10. 2012 - Year: 2012 - If the world does end, that probably means the end of technology as we know it. If it doesn't, though, we have Windows 8, laser heads-up displays in cars, and maybe a Verizon iPhone to look forward to...

For the complete scoop on all of Purewal's picks, see the full story at:

Source:  http://www.pcworld.com/article/214403/top_10_tech_scares_of_the_decade.html?

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