Slammer: Before, During and After by Marc-André Laverdière on 10/04/04

The internet was built to provide flexibility and easy connectivity. However, these qualities of the Internet raise major security concerns that they could be exploited to disrupt our daily lives. One such disruption was the spread of the Slammer/Sapphire worm, which happened on January 25th, 2003. During the spread of the worm, many lost their internet connection, were not able to use ATMs, or saw their flights delayed directly due to the worm’s activity.

In this report, we will study the Slammer worm in this ‘natural’ environment: the Internet. We will study Slammer itself, the situation before the attack of the worm, the damage caused by its spread, as well as the lessons learned from this outbreak. We will approach this study mainly from a computer security point of view, while still presenting perspectives from the IT industry’s and the public’s viewpoint.

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