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The Shadowy Underworld of Cybercrime

April 26, 2008

Although I have been peripherally aware of the existence of botnets for some time now, I hadn’t really looked into the issue. Then I read about it on Bruce Sterling’s blog. What first struck me about it was the way the researchers talked about the Storm Botnet as though it were a living organism, an approach I was first exposed to in C.S. Friedman’s excellent This Alien Shore. When I looked into the subject on Wikipedia, though, I was immediately struck by how much the language reminded me of spy fiction, in particular Alias.

The Storm Botnet was, of course, created by people. It seems that it is only a matter of time before we start taking the same approach to something that has either been created by machines or was the unintended consequence of some technology.

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