Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Conf*ckers

I could write about the epic Atlanta flood of this week, but truthfully its effects have been rather minor for me. We have a small roof leak that needs to get checked out, and our basement flooded enough to extinguish the pilot light of our water heater and make everything smell all musty and gross. Most of our stuff down there is in large plastic bins and is safe. Some sentimental things of my Grandmother's were in an old fashioned suitcase and a cardboard box and those were heavily waterlogged. We did what we could to salvage it. It could have been much worse. One of our neighbors had a huge tree fall on their house. Plenty of people in this area have been completely flooded out. Some people are dead. We've had what I described above, plus some traffic delays due to road closures and accidents. Not that big of a deal.

But something has happened at work this week that is pretty awful -- our network got infected by the Conficker worm over the weekend, and we are still experiencing network problems. I hope those motherfuckers who set this thing loose in the world are proud of themselves. Today, they delayed the start of treatment for some very ill cancer patients. And worse, they caused us to have to abort the treatment of a patient that was supposed to get a high dose rate intracavitary procedure. This happened AFTER we had implanted all that hardware in her. Another patient had to wait hours for her treatment because the worm disabled our planning computer and we had to start over once it was temporarily fixed. She was miserable, and there was no good reason why she had to suffer those extra hours. We can't use about half of our treatment planning computers because the network cuts them off once the virus has been detected and then they can't be used. You clean 'em up, and then they get infected again right away. This really pisses me off. This isn't some game - it is a matter of life and death for some people. There is no indication that tomorrow will be any better. We seem to be fighting a losing battle with this damn worm. Tuesday was worse than Monday. Not a good sign.

At least the rain stopped. For now.

16 comments:

LL said...

Hmmm... hadn't heard about that virus. What you've described though is not a good thing. I'll agree with you there.

And you've gotten rain? Hadn't heard about that either. Of course... out here in the desert west, somebody elses rain rarely gets reported. We're kinda bitter that way... ;)

Wish you and the patients all the best tomorrow fermi.

fermicat said...

They finally got things patched up this afternoon. I worked until 8:00 to get semi caught up with treatment planning for tomorrow. Not fun.

No rain today, but a powerful musty smell lingers. And I hear there is more rain coming. I'm blaming Kat.

BC said...

That virus is a b*tch. Its locked up some computers here too. Knock on wood that it was blocked from me. But its nailed way too much.

Jim Donahue said...

Ugh. That's awful. I must agree with your "things that suck" tag.

dr sardonicus said...

That's just it - the people who introduce things like Conficker into the world think they're just having fun, like it's some kind of joke. They don't think through the real-world consequences of their actions, or they just don't care.

Nine straight days of rain here. It's supposed to end this weekend.

Debo Blue said...

I'm with u Fermi. Let's hope their reward is swift. And that it's in Rikers with the real messed up criminals (tee hee).

I've seen the rain in Atlanta on CNN but like LL, our news is focused on the California fires. Glad you and PDM aren't that impacted by it.

Dave said...

Cat? Where's the cat?

I'm watching the Braves tease me with another win towards a hopeless cause.

Dave said...

Cats aside, congratulations.

fermicat said...

Dave - didn't have time to get to catblogging this week (I am sure LL was celebrating).

The game was good. It started pouring rain late in the 4th, but we stayed until the end. We were due for a breakout game and we got it.

Dr Jenn said...

Yea, like Dave, I came over to see cat blogging! Our creek is rising from (the dead) the rain, we actually have water flowing again. I think we are up to 10 or 11 days of rain now. UGH!

I am sorry you are having issues with the conflicker worm. I really do wish ill on the ones that set it loose. I thought that hospital computers had some sort of special heavy hitter pentagon like firewall in them. It really SUCKS that those poor people were stuck in the middle of treatment like that.

Cat Blog Cat Blog... I need the smile.

LL said...

I don't know if I was celebrating...

I am smiling though. ;)

fermicat said...

Dr Jenn - hospitals do have very robust firewalls. This worm came in through a jump drive, inside the firewall. From there it spread from computer to computer like wildfire. The network brain isolated each infected computer -- which meant they could not be used for work until they were cleaned and reconnected.

LL and Jenn - Catblogging will resume whenever I have some new cat photos, but I have a photographic post of a different kind coming up soon. I think you'll get a kick out of it.

Jeni said...

From reading another fav bloggers stuff (Meloncutter) I first learned about the flooding in your area. Then I really got worried as the daughter of a cousin of mine lives in Atlanta so I sent a note via Facebook to her Mom to see if they were OK. She wrote back saying the area where they live wasn't affected by the rains but that the daughter and two of her little boys had the flu and were all sick last week. I was relieved to hear that as I'd darn site rather they have a dose of the flu than have their home damaged, possibly even ruined, homeless or worse.
The computer thing though -now that is mind-boggling! I just don't understand at all -even after reading Doc's explanation -how people can get such satisfaction out of mucking up the lives -and livelihood even -of others by dumping these virusus and worms and such out into the internet.
Don't remember who is responsible for this quote but I think it fits the bill here -"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men." and that, I think is especially true for those who create these computer evils.

Dr Jenn said...

East Georgia had some sort of a device we had to put our jump drives in before we could put them in the college computers. They tried to outlaw us using jump drives all together and that was too much of an issue. They had some device and you put the jump or flash drive into it and it was about a 2 minute delay before you could use the device. I know all the public schools in Emmanuel county and Johnson county in Georgia had the jump drive area of the computers blocked off completely and so did the local library. I did not know why but now I reckon I do! I never asked!

Looking forward to the new photo post.

fermicat said...

Jeni - rainfall amounts varied wildly around the Atlanta area, and your chances of being flooded out depended on your local total plus river and creek conditions near by. We were lucky to just have a few inches of water in the basement. Our sump pump just couldn't keep up. It is still pretty damp down there and will probably take a long time to dry out.

Dr Jenn - new photo post is up! Hope you like it. ;D

NYPinTA said...

Sorry to hear about all the flooding. When it rains it pours for real!

Doubly sorry to hear about the damn infection and the real life havoc it is causing. If they can ever trace who launched that damn thing, there is a case to be made for real world damages and/or charges to be brought against them. This wasn't a minor inconvenience at an ATM or some such, people actually physically suffered because of those asshats!
Hope their thumbs fall off. Then their pinky fingers. Then the rest, one by one.