Learning vital missiology from Conficker (downadup, whatever you want to call the latest, greatest Internet worm)....

Companions,

Once again, I have to hand it to the cybercriminals.

These folks are absolutely, flat out, committed to their mission of spreading mischief and mobilizing the world to achieve their ends (in this case, personal enrichment), and brilliantly creative in finding new and creative ways to do just that. They take no firewall, no anti-virus program, and no other efforts to stop them as a final answer.

We could learn a few things from them.

Their latest effort, now infecting at least an estimated 3.5 million computers worldwide to generate a criminal botnet-- Conficker (aka Downadup). Hit an infected webpage (you don't have to open a file-- just click on a bad link, and you don't have to take any action on the bad page you land on) and they've got you.

That's not what's new. What's new is that they're generating and redirecting people to thousands of new bad pages to infect computers per day. Their own code, that they download to your computer, does this. Itself. If you haven't patched your OS, and you hit one of the bad pages, they've got you. And you will be used to get others. Brilliant.

Are there ways to stop this? Yes-- Microsoft has a fix, for now, once you're infected. Meanwhile, be sure your machine and any Windows-based machine you are connected to on a network has been patched with the November 2008 MS08-067 patch.

But not just your machine-- be sure that you're not inserting any thumb drives or external drives that have ever been attached to an infected machine, because these can spread the worm as well.

Like I said, brilliant.

Do we have the passion and commitment to infect the world with the worm called "the good news of God's reign" as persistently, creatively, and through as many vectors as the cybercriminals? If we're listening to Jesus about how this thing called God's reign operates and spreads-- like a woman HIDING yeast in a large supply of flour, like that insidious, invasive plant called mustard weed-- maybe, just maybe, we will...

What are you learning about the work of God's mission from cybercriminals? How are you employing their brilliance (wise as serpents) to holy ends (gentle as doves) where you are?


Peace in Christ,

Taylor Burton-Edwards