: Quoted from this morning's Cnet news;
: "A prominent computer "bug hunter" has found a vulnerability that allows a malicious programmer to launch an email attack which bypasses some of the precautions built into Microsoft's Outlook software.
: The vulnerability smoothes the way for a new type of email-borne virus, also called a Trojan horse, and other malicious software. Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular email programs in use.
: Ordinarily, when a Microsoft Outlook user clicks on a file that has been received as an "attachment," the program will ask whether the user wants to open or save the attachment. Programs which exploit the vulnerability, however, fool Outlook into executing the potentially harmful software without asking permission.
: Email containing a malicious payload is a popular new method of attacking computers. For example, US West's internal network had to be shut down for an evening about two weeks ago because of a self-generating attack.
: Microsoft was unable to comment on the vulnerability by press time.
: The newly discovered problem affects Microsoft Outlook Express 4 and 5, Outlook 98, and Outlook 2000, according to Elias Levy, chief technology officer of Security Focus, a company that monitors computer security
: problems. There aren't yet reports of active attacks using the vulnerability, he said.
: "I think it's very severe," Levy said. "It could be used to create something just as bad or even worse than Melissa, he said, speaking of a virus that swept the Internet in March."
: - where do we want you to crash today...?
: Microsoft; the bad dream of all good capitalists.
I've never understood this. What is it about creating bugs and viruses that is so attractive to hackers? I mean, is there merit in causing others trouble?