Written by Walt
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Topics: Space

Saturday, 12 April 2008

image for Cyber "black holes" abound
The dreaded blue screen, thuuuuuud.

Reported from Seattle, Washington, USA, Ethan Katz-Bassett and Arvind Krishnamurthy have found and patterned "black holes" on the internet.

Looking at their preliminary map of the locations for these mysterious gobblers of bits, bites, and nibbles (see the Univ. of Washington's Hubble Web), it seems clear that the most obvious warps of internet space occur at the most prolific sources for spam, porn, and ridiculous financial scams.

Noted columnist Ziff Nada, the famous guru of punditry, arrived at a "eureka" moment, which resembled one of those Gestalt light bulb instants, upon reading about these monstrous gaps in the warp and woof of cyberspace. Noting that he had won at least 4 or 5 UK lotteries, 2 Irish sweepstakes, free Viagra for life, several DVDs of sexual behaviors that are not even depicted in the Kama Sutra, and the chance to activate 30 or 40 multi-million dollar bank financial transfer operations from Nigeria and Indonesia, Nada quickly recognized that the places he found by using whois.net to identify the sources of such krapola approximately matched the balloons on the map of internet black holes.

Nada had often wondered why the "Powers that be" had not set up a system to catch outbound spams, scams, and schemes. He knew, for example, that most of his Viagra and Cialis and Levitra offers came from addresses in the 65.x.x.x range. It seemed, to him, that it would be a simple matter to catch, transfer, and embargo all those millions of senseless messages.

However, he came to also realize that the "Powers" probably didn't share his view. It was clear that many businesses were selling those spammers their bandwidth, servers, routers, switchers, software--hell, even their electricity, etc., so there were no incentives to stop the mess. Then later, Nada discovered that all of the initial points for these mass e-mails worked their way through a specific "Global Network." Fancy that. Nada could not even guess how much money that cash cow earned in a month.

Then later still, it became even more clear to Nada that he spent a meaningful chunk of change, regularly, to buy software that would filter his messages, identify and stop spyware or malware or adware or dialers or tracking cookies, etc, and prevent inbound bot-herd attacks from hi-jacking his computers.

Those black holes, he reasoned, must occur because the cybercriminals suck up all the available bandwidth for a time within that locale.

Then, he pondered, why hasn't some enterprising young hacker devised software, which may be downloaded to individual computers and networks, that would catch the spam or the attack, convert it, turn it around, and send it right back to the source--which would effectively shut down the rogue operations by inundating their systems with their own garbage re-bounding from the millions of individuals who used the counter-attack product. "Hoist on their own petard," thought Nada, "in a form of message ping-pong."

But perhaps not in this evil parallel universe! So, more likely it would be gnip-gnop. And there may be a possibility that such a procedure might shut down the internet with system overload. Ratz!

Now, every time the hourglass dances too long, the logo whirls endlessly, or the avatar in the address bar spins relentlessly, Ziff Nada will know that his machine is hooked into a black hole somewhere in the seamless web of the internet kosmos. Ctrl, Alt, Delete and shut that process down. Start over again, yeah.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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