The Internet is infected, says a 60 Minutes report, and so are the Dolphins. And it has nothing to do with the 2007 season.
Your friendly footballing mammals have been drawn into an international web of intrigue over a nasty little computer worm hilariously called "Conficker." Conficker has spread exponentially through the Internet to an estimated 10 million computers, where, like a sleeper cell, it simply sits and waits for instructions from its creators.
According to the experts who disected it, it has been programmed to receive its mission on April 1 - this very day. DUN DUN DUN!
The little worm has been called "the Paris Hilton of Botnets," which apparently doesn't mean it gives you herpes and sleeps with Brian Urlacher. Rather, it's everywhere, and getting loads of publicity -- including "many of the most trusted Web sites, like eBay, the Miami Dolphins...and Southwest Airlines," according to 60 Minutes.
The race against time and Conficker has pit a league of upstanding computer security professionals called the Conficker Coalition Working Group, led by Microsoft, against a team of mysterious hackers who are likely members of underground operation known as the Russian Business Network and/or its allies in the Ukraine. We promise, we're not even making this up.
I guess its good to know that miamidolphins.com is "trusted" by America. But, gee, we hope this doesn't interrupt General Manger Jeff Ireland's online chat with fans set for Friday. If you're like us, the thought of an infected Internet is enough to cash in and go off the grid somewhere to wait for the apocalypse. Forget the draft!
Not to worry, though. Security giant Symantec is countering the hacker's 15,000 updates a day, so all you need to do -- unless you want your syphoned money sending a computer-savvy teenager to the movies in Eastern Europe -- is keep up with the security patches the company is issuing every five minutes.
Or, you know, expect this to be about as eventful as that ole Y2K bug everyone was so upset about, and keep worrying about the situation at cornerback.
Now that's cause for panic.
Janie Campbell feels bad that malware got associated with Paris Hilton, and visits the Dolphins' website at her own risk. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.