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 26/6/2016: IceCat 38.8.0, Wine 1.9.13

    Links for the day



  2. With UPC Dead for Battistelli's Entire Remaining Term, No Reason for the EPO or the Administrative Council to Keep Battistelli Around

    Thoughts about what happens to the EPO's leadership after 'Brexit' (British exit from the EU), which severely undermines Battistelli's biggest project that he habitually used to justify his incredible abuses



  3. Links 24/6/2016: Xen Project 4.7, Cinnamon 3.0.6

    Links for the day



  4. Benoît Battistelli Should Resign in Light of New Leak of Decision in His Vendetta Against Truth-Telling Judge (Updated)

    Benoît Battistelli continues to break the EPO's own rules, not just national laws, as a new decision helps reveal



  5. Fake Patents on Software From Fake Australian 'Inventor' of Bitcoin and the Globally-Contagious Nature of EPO Patent Scope

    News from Australia regarding software patents that should not be granted and how patent lawyers from Australia rely on European patent law (EPO and UK-IPO) for guidance on patent scope



  6. Patent Lawyers Love (and Amplify) Halo and Enfish, Omit or Dismiss Cuozzo and Alice

    By misinterpreting the current situation with respect to software patents and misusing terms like "innovation" patent lawyers and others in the patent microcosm hope to convince the public (or potential clients) that nothing in effect has changed and software patents are all fine and dandy



  7. Looks Increasingly Plausible That Battistelli is Covering up Bogus and/or Illegally-Obtained 'Evidence' From the EPO's Investigative Unit

    Why we believe that Benoît Battistelli is growingly desperate to hide evidence of rogue evidence-collecting operations which eventually landed himself -- not the accused -- in a catastrophic situation that can force his resignation



  8. As Decision on the UK's EU Status Looms, EPO Deep in a Crisis of Patent Quality

    Chaotic situation at the EPO and potential changes in the UK cause a great deal of debate about the UPC, which threatens to put the whole or Europe at the mercy of patent trolls from abroad



  9. Another Demonstration by European Patent Office (EPO) Staff on Same Day as Administrative Council's Meeting

    SUEPO (staff union of the EPO) continues to organise staff actions against extraordinary injustice by Benoît Battistelli and his flunkies whom he gave top positions at the EPO



  10. Links 23/6/2016: Red Hat Results, Randa Stories

    Links for the day



  11. Interview With FOSSForce/All Things Free Tech

    New interview with Robin "Roblimo" Miller on behalf of FOSSForce



  12. Links 22/6/2016: PulseAudio 9.0, GNOME 3.21.3 Released

    Links for the day



  13. IP Europe's UPC Lobbying and the EPO Connection

    The loose but seemingly ever-growing connections between AstroTurfing groups like IP Europe (pretending to represent SMEs) and EPO staff which is lobbying-centric



  14. EPO “Recruitment of Brits is Down by 80%”

    Letter says that “recruitment of Brits is down by 80%” and "the EPO lost 7% of UK staff in one year"



  15. The Conspiracy of Patent Lawyers for UPC and Battistelli's Role in Preparing by Firing People

    The parasitic firms that lobby for the UPC and actually create it -- firms like those that pass money to Battistelli's EPO -- are doing exactly the opposite of what Europe needs



  16. Patent Lawyers, Having Lost Much of the Battle for Software Patents in the US, Resort to Harmful Measures and Spin

    A quick glance at how patent lawyers and their lobbyists/advocates have reacted to the latest decision from the US Supreme Court (Justice Breyer)



  17. Links 21/6/2016: Fedora 24 and Point Linux MATE 3.2 Officially Released

    Links for the day



  18. Supreme Court on Cuozzo v Lee Another Major Loss for Software Patents in the United States

    Much-anticipated decision on the Cuozzo v Lee case (at the highest possible level) serves to defend the appeal boards which are eliminating software patents by the thousands



  19. As Alice Turns Two, Bilski Blog Says 36,000 (Software) Patent Applications Have Been Rejected Thanks to It

    A look back at the legacy of Alice v CLS Bank and how it contributed to the demise of software patents in the United States, the birthplace of software patents



  20. EPO Self-Censorship by IP Kat or Just Censorship of Opinions That IP Kat Does Not Share/Accept (Updated)

    ree speech when it's needed the most (EPO scandals) needs to be respected; or why IP Kat shoots itself in the foot and helps the EPO's management by 'sanitising' comments



  21. Caricature: Bygmalion Patent Office

    The latest cartoon regarding Battistelli's European Patent Office



  22. Links 21/6/2016: GNU/Linux in China's HPC, Linux 4.7 RC4

    Links for the day



  23. Under Battistelli's Regime the EPO is a Lawless, Dark Place

    How the EPO's Investigative Unit (IU) and Control Risks Group (CRG), which is connected to the Stasi through Desa, made the EPO virtually indistinguishable from East Germany (coat of arms/emblem above)



  24. New Paper Demonstrates That Unitary Patent (UPC) is Little More Than a Conspiracy of Patent 'Professionals' and Their Self Interest

    Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna's latest paper explains that the UPC “expert teams” are in fact not experts but people who are using the UPC as a Trojan horse by which to promote their business interests and corporate objectives



  25. Money Flying to Private Companies Without Tenders at Battistelli's EPO (by the Tens of Millions!)

    Extravagant and cushy contracts to the tune of tens of millions of Euros are being issued without public scrutiny and without opportunities to competition (few corporations easily score cushy EPO contracts while illusion of tendering persists -- for small jobs only)



  26. Patent Examiners and Insiders Acknowledge Profound Demise in Patent Quality Under Battistelli

    By lowering the quality of patents granted by the European Patent Office Battistelli hopes to create an illusion of success, where success is not measured properly and is assessed by biased firms which he finances



  27. Jericho Systems Threatens Alice, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Threatens the Patent Trial and Appeal (PTAB)

    A look at the two latest threats to those who helped put an end to a lot of (if not most) software patents in the US



  28. How the Halo Electronics Case Helps Patent Trolls and How Publications Funded by Patent Trolls (IAM for Instance) Covered This

    A Supreme Court ruling on patents, its implications for software patent trolls, and how media that is promoting software patents and patent trolls covered it



  29. Patent Lawyers' Fantasy Land Where Software Patents Are Suddenly Resurrected Even When They're Not

    A quick glance at where the debate over software patents in the United States stands and how profiteers (such as patent lawyers) not only mislead the public but also bully the messengers



  30. Links 19/6/2016: Randa Over, Fedora 24 Release Soon

    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