Editor, Daily Nexus,

I just finished reading your article (“ResNet Limits Platforms”, Daily Nexus, Sept. 27, 2002) and to be honest, this is the most absurd thing I have ever read. What does having Windows 2000 on desktops have to do with viruses (such as Code Red and Nimda), denial-of-service attacks and port-scanning? First, all Windows operating systems can be and will be affected by some form of virus or worm. Second, any OS is subject to a denial-of-service attack and port scanning. Finally, port-scanning can be done from/to any OS, including Windows XP. So, viruses, DOS attacks and port scanning cannot be the reason behind forcing your students to upgrade to XP.

Banning an OS is not a solution to the problem; educating your end users is. Teaching your end users the importance of keeping their systems updated with the latest patches and virus signature files, and installing a personal firewall will mitigate such problems as virus infections and systems getting hacked into. As far as port-scanning and DOS attacks are concerned, simply enforce a policy that states that any one caught port-scanning will be fined and taken off the network for X amount of time.

DOS attacks are a major problem that currently has no real solution except for properly configuring and monitoring your network. Problem users should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis instead of punishing those who have been diligent in respect to keeping their systems updated.

Food for thought.