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

01.28.09

Windows Botnets Go Out of Control, Obama Web Site Delivers Windows Malware

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 10:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

THERE ARE SO MANY MICROSOFT failure stories to share today that it’s hard to decide where to start.

Sites Hijacked

Microsoft’s security nightmares as of late [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] are where we begin by presenting the following report about a government site in Australia getting cracked and doing enough harm that it needed to be shut down.

Like you, I get masses of spam. I knew it wasn’t from jobs.nsw.gov.au no matter how much it pretended to be. I deleted it figuring it was “just another” bit of junk mail, although I was surprised to find one purporting to be from the NSW Government job board; that was definitely a new one on me!

Had I thought about it deeper I might have considered this was no ordinary spam. This time there was a direct relationship between how the spammers got my e-mail address and the organisation they purported to represent.

It turns out the Department of Commerce has taken this whole incident very seriously indeed, and far more than common garden-variety spam would necessitate.

If you visit the site jobs.nsw.gov.au you will see it is inaccessible, and in fact, has been for a week. A message advises that the system is down for “system maintenance.”

The site is powered by Microsoft IIS.

Moving on a little, it turns out that Obama’s Web site too is causing harm. Some pages in it are distributing Windows malware.

Web security firm Websense reports that malicious hackers have registered multiple bogus user accounts on My.BarackObama.com. The site allows legitimate punters to join groups, raise funds, or creates blogs. The griefers have established blogs with fake YouTube clips, ostensibly offering grumble flicks.

According to some new statistics, there is a sharp increase in distribution of Windows malware, with more malicious sites than one can practically keep track of:

AVG is seeing between 200,000 to 300,000 new Web sites per day hosting code that can in some cases result in a PC being infected with malware just by visiting the site, said Roger Thompson, AVG’s chief research officer.

Zombies/Botnets Explode

Conficker is still running wild and it’s draining resources along its path (human resources and Web resources).

The world’s top virus hunters are watching every move made by the attacker in control of a nasty new Internet worm — referred to as “downadup” or “conficker.”

The number of infected Windows PCs keeps growing fast.

A virulent computer virus has infected as many as 15 million computers around the world so far, according to various estimates.

The virus — a self-replicating computer worm known as Downadup, Conficker or Kido — spreads across computer networks using Microsoft Windows software which have not been patched or updated properly. Microsoft issued a patch that fixes the vulnerability the virus exploits last October.

This is also covered here.

Computer experts are preparing to respond to further virus outbreaks and security threats posed by the Windows worm, known as Conficker, Kido and Downadup, which has infected more than 15 million PCs worldwide.

Had Microsoft cared about security rather than premature announcements (vapourware) and irresponsible releases, the Internet would have been a better and safer place to travel.

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

Broken glass

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

5 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Over the years there have been various Internet milestones. e.g. www passing telnet, then passing ftp-data. ogg vorbis passing 12% of audio, etc. e-mail becoming 60% then 90% spam from windows botnets.

    At what point does (has) the point where the majority of traffic is windows malware get passed?

    Internet has been good, but is in terminal stage windows infestation. Internet2 died on the vine in part because of MS and probably in part because of Doug. How about Internet3, starting with a flat out ban on closed protocols *and* a prohibition against any Windows or MS products…

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 28, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Both the UPI article and the USA Today article have major errors. Both misidentify the worm as an “Internet” worm or a “computer” worm. It is neither. It is a Windows worm.

    110 years of journalistic excellence my ass.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Gravatar

    This is a very important point that Carla wrote about. I mentioned her 2 writings on this subject and gave a new example of Microsoft pressure groups muscling journalists.

  4. twitter said,

    January 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Gravatar

    Messing with the president’s website make a serious federal reaction for these idiots. It will be interesting to watch GWB’s wiretap program turned around to track the spammer’s network. (Who knows, Obama might even get the propper search warrants.) My prediction is that the botnet trail will lead back to WE and other corporate proxies and Obama will dig as deep as he can to find it and any other pieces of Republican guilt. Even if he can’t find that, the M$ cesspool is sure to have dire consequences for M$. We’ve already seen stories about him grumbling about White House computer backwardness and being forced to use a Winblows Mobile handset. Silly stories about iPods and Zunes must also chafe, who would not resent being used as an endorsement for something as rotten as Zune? Porn spam on his website might move Obama’s M$ relationship from disdain to hatred.

  5. Gentoo User said,

    January 28, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Gravatar

    Apparently you forgot to write up a nasty condemnation of all those PHP/Apache-based sites that were hacked to serve off malware a while ago. They targeted a vulnerability that had a readily-available patch weeks before the exploit was seen in the wild. And then they used Google bombs to draw traffic to the pages, if I recall.

    Oh no, wait. You didn’t forget, of course.

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Gradually Embraces, Extends, Extinguishes Linux Foundation as a Foundation of GNU/Linux

    By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group



  2. Microsoft India Still Lobbies and Lies About Free Software in Order to Knock Down Policy That Favours Free Software

    Microsoft continues to bully Indian politicians who merely 'dare' to prefer software that India can modify, maintain, extend, audit, etc.



  3. Patent Lawyers and Corporate Media Nervous About New Patents Barrier/Reality (Less Patents on Software and Business Methods)

    The rich and the powerful, as well as their lawyers (whose job is to protect their money and power by means of government-enforced monopoly), carry on whining after the Alice case, in which many abstract patents were essentially ruled -- by extension -- invalid



  4. Translation of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' Speech Against EPO Management and New Parliamentarian Interventions

    More political fire targeting the EPO's management, adding up to over 100 parliamentarians by now



  5. Links 2/7/2015: KDE Plasma 5.3.2, antiX 15

    Links for the day



  6. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  7. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  8. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  9. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  10. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  11. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  12. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  13. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  14. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  15. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  16. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  17. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  18. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  19. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  20. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  21. Links 28/6/2015: Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 0.8.13, VectorLinux 7.1

    Links for the day



  22. Williamson v. Citrix Online (at CAFC) Reinforces Alice v. CLS Bank (at SCOTUS) in Crushing Software Patents

    More patent news from the United States, again serving to indicate that software patents over there are getting weak (harder to defend in court or acquire from the patent office)



  23. Proskauer Rose LLP is Cherry-Picking Cases to Make Software Patents Seem Eligible Despite Alice v. CLS Bank

    Naming and shaming those who are trying to reshape the consensus despite a rather consistent pattern of software patents being rejected



  24. IAM Biased: How IAM 'Magazine' Glorifies Patent Stockpiling

    A look at the bias of one of the most overzealous sites for and by patent lawyers



  25. PATENT Act No Longer in the News... and That's Just Fine

    Putting the PATENT Act aside for the time being, for it has little or no impact on the really problematic patents



  26. The Latest Lies From Microsoft's PR Apparatus/Public Face, Mr. Nadella

    Having spread the outrageous lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” (whilst obviously attacking it in many ways), Microsoft's CEO (essentially Bill Gates' right-hand man) says Microsoft is “one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel” (because of proprietary software it tries to contaminate it with while violating the terms of the GPL)



  27. Microsoft Jack (Schofield) Promotes Microsoft's Proprietary Lock-in and Calls People Who Recommend Free/Libre Software 'Trolls'

    Jack Schofield, writing for a Bill Gates-funded paper despite claiming to have retired, promotes Microsoft Office and insults all those readers who do not agree with him



  28. The Council of Europe Slams the EPO as Political Pressure Grows for EPO Management to Obey the Law

    Battistelli et al. come under yet more fire as politicians -- many of whom from Battistelli's home country -- become better informed of the EPO's management fiasco, abuses, and scandals



  29. Operating Systems Usage Based on Technical Site Statistics

    ome numbers to show what goes on in sites that do not share information about their visitors (unlike Windows-centric sites which target non-technical audiences)



  30. Links 27/6/2015: Wine 1.7.46, SparkyLinux 4.0

    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