EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.22.09

One Windows Worm, One Week, and Possibly 250,000,000+ New Windows Zombies

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Time for urgent “Change”

THIS IS A HUGELY important issue that we tracked a few days ago. We already knew that almost 1 in 2 Windows PCs had become zombie PCs, but it keeps getting worse. According to this report, as many as one in three Windows PCs may have been occupied by one single worm in a matter of just days! That’s how serious it is.

The computer worm responsible for the biggest attack in years has infected at least 1 out of every 16 PCs worldwide, a security company said Wednesday, and may have managed to compromise as many as nearly 1 in 3.

This may be the right time to contract law-makers or regulators and make a request for new laws to be applied to bad platforms that can leave people dead.

The victims of this latest storm are so many and the BBC says that even a UK-based Fire and Rescue service is downed by its use Windows, which came under virus attack.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue has said its IT network has “come under attack from a computer virus”.

Once again, this is costing lives.

Vista and Vista 7, as we pointed out a few days ago, are not immune. It’s more of the same.

Windows worm trickery for Vista

The Conficker virus has opened a new can of worms for security experts.

Drives such as USB sticks infected with the virus trick users into installing the worm, according to researchers.

Microsoft would like naive reporters to propagate the perception that this could happen to anyone, but it was Microsoft itself that said: “Our products just aren’t engineered for security.” Well, now they find out?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

8 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    January 22, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Gravatar

    I’m quite pleased to see that press articles I’ve seen on the subject make it clear this is a Windows problem, not one that affects all computers.

    (One story suggested in the headline it would affect Linux systems running Wine – which is a real concern, as Wine is good enough to run most worms – but the end of the story asked if anyone had seen Conficker running in Wine and could verify it actually did anything. ?!)

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 22, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Gravatar

    That’s like saying that the chef is dangerous because he carries a knife (for chopping carrots and stuff).

  3. David Gerard said,

    January 22, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Gravatar

    Well, yeah. It’s quite easy for an app to break out of its WINEPREFIX (referred to as “bottles” in CrossOver), so Wine-aware malware could certainly trash your home directory, try to read your Firefox passwords, etc. (This is not easy to reliably secure against, and the Wine project isn’t bothering to try. If you really want to run toxic waste in Wine, create a new user and do it there.) However, much like theoretical Mac OS X or Linux viruses, there remain 0 examples in the wild.

  4. David Gerard said,

    January 22, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Gravatar

    The key point was, the article was basically an attention-grabbing headline that was actually a complete lie. Ad-banner trolling.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 22, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Gravatar

    Which article?

  6. David Gerard said,

    January 22, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Gravatar

    This one:

    http://network.itproportal.com/articles/2009/01/21/linux-windows-7-beta-could-be-hit-downadup-worm/

    Page 1: “Furthermore, there are rumours that even Linux could be affected by the Worm if they run Wine, an application that allows Linux to execute programs written for the Windows environment. In theory, the virus would only affect the Windows partition rather than the whole operating system.”

    Page 2: “It would be great if someone could confirm the Linux rumours and Wine’s autorun.inf capabilities.”

    i.e. we made up some rubbish to give a splash headline.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Gravatar

    Extra extra!

    Chef Could Murder Waiter

    Page X: “It would be great if someone could confirm the chef cut the waiter and not onions.”

  8. Yggdrasil said,

    March 31, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Gravatar

    Where exactly do you get this figure of 250 million? That number is 100 million more than the total number of Internet users in the United States alone. One of your references from Panda Security suggests rates anywhere from 1 in 16, all the way to 1 in 3. Why so high? Because as the article states, Panda security based this data on machines that had come to the website to have their machine scanned. Imagine the percentage of people who go to the doctor due to symptoms of illness, you might find a high percentage who are sick. Everything else was pure speculation, with little hard evidence. While, I’m not surprised you use the worse figure you could find, I’m surprised you don’t better analyze the sources you use to test their integrity. This reflects poorly on you.

    Late January, UPI reported 15 million Conficker infections:

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/01/25/Virus_strikes_15_million_PCs/UPI-19421232924206/

    But the real nitty gritty from the article is here:

    “Symantec noted on its blog last week that very few computers in North America had been infected, a trend which it attributed to the greater prevalence of legal and fully patched software.”

    In several other places on this site you note that there is no way to be safe with Windows, yet as the article shows, legitimate installed were not affected. Not only because security updates are downloaded, but since XP SP2 the Windows Firewall is enabled by default.

    While you dispute the obscurity of Linux on the desktop, it’s interesting to note that even popular distros like Ubuntu do NOT have a firewall enabled be default. This is unwise, regardless of how many countless security updates are installed.

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  2. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  3. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  5. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  6. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  7. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  8. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  9. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  10. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  11. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  12. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  13. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  14. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  15. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  16. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  17. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  18. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  19. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  20. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  21. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  22. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  23. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  24. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  25. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  27. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  28. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  29. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  30. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts