Web Warriors

2008 ,    »  -   34 Comments
Ratings: 8.48/10 from 23 users.

Web WarriorsA hot summer afternoon in the northeast. Residents of New York and Toronto look forward to the weekend. No one could predict what is about to happen.

In a matter of seconds, 50 million people simply fall off the grid. Phone lines and water systems fail, and thousands of people are trapped in elevators and subways. It is August 14th 2003, and the largest blackout in North American history causes 6 billion in damages. The official cause? Overgrown trees on power lines. But there's more to this story than troublesome trees.

Just three days earlier on August 11th someone somewhere released one of the most damaging computer viruses ever written: Blaster. It was probably the biggest attack against the Internet ever.

Mikko Hypponen is one of the world's most respected virus hunters. It is here at F-Secure, an anti-virus lab based in Helsinki, that he and his team first identify Blaster when it hits the Internet. What Astonished Mikko is the impact the virus has on the physical world. Blaster was the first worm that really showed that an attack like this can affect society and normal life.

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34 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Achems Razor

    Very interesting doc. Hits you where you live.

  2. dave

    Scary stuff. Makes one afraid to be online. Another must watch documentary from TDF.

  3. Hua

    I've never really trusted being online as far as it being private. Just assume that your mom and your boss is watching you surf and don't do banking or shopping online. It is apparently way to easy to get robbed.

  4. Ant

    @HUA If you have a credit/debit card that you use anywhere you are just as at risk as if you are buying on line from a reputable company (Google before buying). Make sure your bank or card company had fraud protection and you are all set. My bank, for no charge, calls me whenever I go over $300 a day on my card and does not validate the charges until they talk to me. If you want to be extremely careful set up a bank account that you only use for online purchases or use a refillable credit card.
    The realities of the risks presented in the video are real, but I found it overall a bit sensationalist.

  5. nituliM

    The Internet is only free media witch is not corrupted by capitalists! They will never control internet!

  6. Robb Munson

    Get linux, you wont be able to execute the viruses...downsides are a messed up kernel every now and then, but if you get a good distro then the kernel gets updated, no holes! :D (same goes for the programs in linux)

  7. Achems Razor

    I agree with @ Robb Munson:

    Am running only Linux Ubuntu, "Studio".

    Do not need any type of virus protection. Never have any type of viruses at all, unlike windows.

    Gets automatic updates constantly.

  8. Achems Razor

    @ Vlatko:

    You are correct in saying the usage of Linux is small as compared to windows, but a person has to be more tech. savy as compared to windows, whereas windows is plug and go, Linux is not. Probably one reason Linux is small, but it is growing.

    I realize viruses can infiltrate most systems, but am convinced Linux is more virus protected.


  9. Robb munson

    Linux is way less script oriented in the fact the user has to actively participate when things go nuts, windows you pretty much have to reformat when the nasties get in. Linux you recompile a kernel every few months or so, no removal necessary. Windows needs massive knowledge to figure out it's famous stop errors. Yes hardware support sucks, but that's not linuxs fault, it's lazy vendors with more money for BG. Can't blame us for proprietary secrets they do.

  10. stv

    this documentary is making me install linux or mac ... f*** window$ ...

  11. Phantom

    Rofl thats right all run to linux untill its more popular than windows then the virus makers will target that instead lolz.

    If a computer is give writen instruction "Script" then yes it can have viruses ... of any OS.

  12. Andrew

    Linux really doesent have viruses. Linux does however sometimes have rootkits, which are more dangerous than viruses. But, those are rare as well. Linux in my opinion is no longer only for tech savy people. If you can use windows or mac, you can use linux.

  13. Nick

    if you aren't 12 and clicking on every link you come across or downloading shady stuff, you'll be fine. The average user doesn't even need a firewall or anti-virus protection. Just use common sense and you should be fine. Doesn't matter what OS you use.

  14. christopher miller

    /quote NICK
    "if you aren’t 12 and clicking on every link or downloading shady stuff, you’ll be fine. The average user doesn’t even need a firewall or anti-virus protection."

    Sorry, Have you ever, ever worked tech support / IT in your life, even for future shop or something my man.

    The average user doesnt even know what windows is, until you say the software you see on startup that runs your pc, than they act like they know what you are talking about.

    Ive worked in multiple areas of technical support ranging from Active Directory Admin and LDAP and SMTP servers to Printer PCL code to digitial set top boxes to HP media smart servers. The average user is less knowledgable about technology than I was circa ms windows3.1 hitting the market, and back than I was like 6.

  15. InedibleHulk

    This blackout will always seem like MY blackout to me. I got on a Greyhound in Detroit just minutes before it started that afternoon, and for the next three days I rode almost the entire north-south range of affected areas, seeing how people were coping in several major cities (including Toronto at night, all night! Surreal darkness!) Just a half hour or so after getting to North Bay (the tip of the blackout) the power came back on in the station, and I heard my first news of what happened.

    I think it's safe to say that nobody experienced the scope of the blackout quite like I did, and yes, I do feel special because of it. Time, space, personal issues and technology came together in a way I'll never forget.

  16. Him

    Windows has a shell which is and has always been vulnerable. Windows uses this shell to access everything in the operating system in order to bring the user a more friendly interface. This is the core of the problem. In a linux operating enviroment,YOU are the shell. Which not only gives the user incredible flexability but also dramatically increases the security of the linux network.

    Many of the bigger companys are realizing that linux is a safer enviroment and are making the switch. When the NET was first introduced, LINUX was the only way to operate a big network over the net because the windows shell could only handle 1 login at a time where a linux enviroment could handle as many as was needed. And indeed the whole hacking era was started as a way to bring the personal computer to the masses for a fraction of the cost of a windows based system. The pioneers of this wrote small programs that just sent windows into chaos, or provided the same functions windows did except for free, in order to bring linux into the light. The major money players supported WINDOWS only due to the simple fact that gates wanted to monoplize it. Even though linux was a safer alternative.
    This same approach was taken with tesla when he discovered a way to harness and beam electricity to the masses for free.Edison however saw the potential of a world wide control network that could and has made billions for its investors.
    So although hacking started with the best intentions, it has moved to what we have today. A global network of people that have no principles at all pertaining to the overall benifit of society. Rather, its more based on personal gain and ego. I repsect the pioneers for there determination but feel for the future of computing. Especially since we are becoming more and more integrated into a digital society. The matrix comes to mind ,but instead of machines in control ,I can envision the same control the few have over us today expotentially multiplied.

  17. Joe

    Linux is much more secure by design. Linux is also more popular on web servers. So popularity does not equal more viruses.

  18. Billy

    I went to School with Craig! Good job Craig, nice Docu.

  19. killa

    wow lol i remember the blackout brought the hole hood together what a great day.

  20. Huh

    haha...."I'm interested in some back doors."

    me too!

  21. Ian

    So i think this may be a little out dated since the narrator said "Still to this day, Yahoo! is the largest online website"

    I'm pretty sure that's google.

  22. 0xDeadBeef

    Note that this 'second documentary also titled Web Warriors' is really just the same film again.

  23. communism_works

    I'm from North Bay. I was there the whole black out. They had power up rather quickly. I believe we borrowed from Quebec.

  24. Matt Kukowski

    You are all over the place. Sounds like me, so I understand what you are illuding too.

    Just know it is much more complex than your black and white view. As long as the Source Code remains OPEN and ACCESSIBLE... no central dictator can monopolize it.

    It is funny, because I think the geeks with Linux and the way code is created is the future for society. A blue print.

    A Linux Kernel which is transparent and allowed to be centralized by the most rational will dominate. While a close Microsoft kernel will only allow dictatorship and unbalances.

  25. godrain

    @ Matt Kukowski

    Keep telling yourself that champ. I can tell you have a lot of experience with real world software development

    Also this was very sensationalist there were a few comments made that were silly. Very silly.

  26. godrain

    @ Matt Kukowski

    Linus is a rational man.

    Also this was very sensationalist there were a few comments made that were silly. Very silly.

  27. scottyladdy

    very interesting and well made film.I wonder if spybot will be used on December 21 2012?!

  28. Rocky Racoon

    If it isn't point and click I'm done.

  29. Troy Bennett

    lmao this is f--king funny 90% of all people rely literally on technology to do everything for them its funny its like putting a turtle on its back r people realy that help less without there iphones? all i do online is check my facebook and check my money from youtube but guess what im not so obsessed with it that if the internet went down id freak the f--k out come on people

  30. Sid Silhouette

    Interesting info about 'storm worm'. Didn't know such a thing existed.

  31. LoggerheadShrike

    Whoosh, right over your head. Clearly you missed the point entirely (neither the iphone nor facebook existed in 2003, and the internet was not seen by the general public as much more than a novelty at this stage; most people were still on dialup). The whole point of the documentary was that it affected far more than just the internet. The entire power grid was shut down over a very large area. Hospitals went to their generators, everyone in an elevator or subway had to be rescued, air exchange in large buildings shut down, freezers at grocery stores and warehouses turned off. Without the power grid, there's no way to support large urban populations. People can manage for a few days but any longer ...

  32. LoggerheadShrike

    "And indeed the whole hacking era was started as a way to bring the personal computer to the masses for a fraction of the cost of a windows based system."

    Uhm, no. The personal computer that came to the masses *was* a windows-based system, and it wasn't hackers who did it, but competing manufacturers. And machines were typically sold with windows, not linux; where they were sold as linux, they weren't any cheaper, since OEM systems just bundle windows in as a freebie, with the cost reflecting the hardware, not the software. The only time most people ever went out and paid money for a copy of windows was to upgrade to a new version on an old machine. Needless to say, not many average people ever did this - they just waited til it was time to buy a new machine. Microsoft established its stranglehold on the personal computer long before windows even; the status of early versions of windows was just a continuation of DOS domination. And the reason DOS prevailed was that it ran on non-proprietary, cloned x86 hardware. x86 architecture got popular because you could easily swap out parts and there were dozens of manufacturers making compatible parts, as compared to things like Amiga and Mac, which were not built for users to modify and demanded expensive proprietary parts sold only by the manufacturer (at the time; Apple has since gone to x86 architecture)

    Linux is better, of course, but it's a newcomer by comparison. Both windows and the personal computer were already well-established by the time it appeared; and the reason for that is the x86 architecture. It was so popular that DOS, which wasn't even a GUI, was able to dominate over GUI systems like Amiga and Macintosh in the years before windows.

    Nor did hacking start as a way to bring cheap computers to the masses. One of its intents was to make *information* free to the masses ... but not personal computers ... hackers are not manufacturers.

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