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. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  2. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  3. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  4. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  5. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  6. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  7. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  8. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  9. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  10. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  11. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  12. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  13. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  14. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  15. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  16. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  17. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  18. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  20. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows



  21. Spinning Proprietary Software Dangers as Dangers of Free/Libre Software

    News sites mislead their readers, teaching them that the biggest dangers associated with proprietary software are in fact problems exclusive to Free/libre Open Source software



  22. Links 23/7/2015: New RHEL Release, Capital One Releases Code

    Links for the day



  23. Terminology of Patent Lawyers and Pro-Patents Media Serves to Mislead the Public

    An outline of stories where the language used to describe patents is grossly distorted so as to bias the reality and mislead the audience/readers



  24. Amid Billions in Losses, Microsoft Tries to Conquer the Competition (Which Already Wins)

    The 'Embrace, Extend, Extinguish' strategy goes a few steps further as Microsoft looks to dominate developers, devices and servers that are running Free/libre software



  25. Microsoft Losing Billions of Dollars is Not News

    Few remarks on Microsoft's latest admission that it is losing a lot of money



  26. Links 22/7/2015: Kodi 15.0, MKVToolnix 8.2.0

    Links for the day



  27. The Technology Sector in the US Has Gotten Fed Up With Apple's Patent Aggression Against Android/Linux

    Apple is desperately trying to stop Android from increasing its levels of dominance (in phones, tablets, watches, and so on), so Silicon Valley is lining up against Apple, antagonising its misuse/abuse of patents for anticompetitive purposes



  28. Patents Regime in Europe: Mixture of Greed, Competition Abuses, and Propaganda

    A roundup of the latest patent news from Europe, focusing on Italy, the UK, Germany, and Hungary



  29. Patent 'Reform' in US Congress Still Under Attack by Patent Lawyers and Corporate Lobbyists

    The latest instances of assault on changes to the US patent system, demonstrated through an elaborative survey of the media (two days' worth)



  30. Don't Ever Rely on Microsoft for Hardware, Hosting, Especially When it Comes to GNU/Linux

    Warning signs over Microsoft hosting, as well as reliance on Microsoft for maintenance of hardware


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