le petit overload. alan demonstrates public’s understanding of computer security.

I am constantly asked, “How quickly can you take down someone’s computer?” and am constantly told, “No one’s dumb enough these days to open a virus.” Well virus or not, contrary to standard belief, the public really doesn’t check any more in regards to security before opening a file.

In a recent talk I was asked to demonstrate how hard it would be to shutdown someone’s computer through overload. I opened a text editor, created a looping batch file, packaged it in an executable, and plugged a phony icon into it. The whole process took less than a minute, since it consisted of typing “start start start start start …” and then having the same process launch: painfully “Hello World.” level programming anyone can do.

I threw the file online as a torrent, said it was the crack to the upcoming Red Alert 3, and watched hundreds of computers freeze and crash despite putting “will cause computer to crash” and “fake” in the file name and description.


Download a similar looping batch file here

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