by Joe Szabo, John Aycock, Randal Acton, and Jörg Denzinger
How humans behave when faced with a disaster, natural or man-made, can be exploited automatically by news-aware malicious software. We introduce the idea of weather worms, worms that can automatically identify abnormal events and their location, and target computers at that physical location. Such worms could be used to take advantage of poorly defended computers in a disaster zone, and could even amplify the effects of a physical terrorist attack. Defenses against weather worms require serious examination of policy and presentation of information on the Internet.
"This is a preprint; the extended, official version of the paper will appear in the 2008 ACM Symposium on Applied Computing."