Re[3]: Very dangerous new Virus

Subject: Re[3]: Very dangerous new Virus
From: "Walker, Arlen P" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 08:56:54 -0600

I would like to add a related note to this topic. One issue that was
introduced to me by a friend who deals with internet security and
firewall design. Told me that if a "virus" alert garners enough panic
and the email is replicated logarithmically it can actually shut down
weaker (h and s ware wise) email servers. How true? I don't know
enough about the process to argue details for or against. But it has a
logic that I can follow.

Very true. We had a similar episode here (it wasn't virus warnings, it was
the ACS "please forward" thing) and it closed down our internal mail system
for almost two whole days. The technical term for that kind of attack is
"Denial of Service."

What does this have to do with Tech writing?

The art of technical writing is to convey information accurately and
efficiently. Hacks stop at this point; professionals consider themselves
responsible for determining that the technical information so conveyed is
true, at least to the limits they can determine it.

We've often held discussions on this list about the status of TW as a
"profession." We've also had discussions (one just recently) about how many
of the engineers and programmers we deal with on a regular basis hold us in
low esteem.

I would suggest that the reposting of bogus virus warnings plays a part in
all this. It's hard for a programmer to take us seriously if we run around
like Chicken Little screaming the sky is falling at the drop of a hat. We
come back to them over and over again for clarifications and verifications,
yet we don't hesitate to send bogosity around the world without even making
a token effort to verify it. What message does that send?

As technical writers, we have a responsibility to check our facts before
publication, don't we? It's something we're supposed to be good at, isn't

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

Previous by Author: Re: I'm a coder and you aren't, Nyah!
Next by Author: Re: Consultants--ethical question
Previous by Thread: Re[2]: Very dangerous new Virus
Next by Thread: XML 98>> WAS RE: Moving to HTML, take II

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads