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02.07.09

Windows Security: More of the Same

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Security, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 7:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Same mess, different day

VISTA 7 was claimed even less secure [1, 2] than the already-insecure Windows Vista. Microsoft insisted that this was not true and it vigorously denied the problem, as usual. The criticism did not go away though, so Microsoft is finally admits that it was lying and the security problems in Vista 7 are real.

Microsoft admits it messed up Windows 7 security

Following a week where no less than two security flaws were reported in Windows 7 which were officially dismissed and not constituting a vulnerability, it seems there has now been a rather huge change of mind at Microsoft and a frankly astonishing confession.

Microsoft has been at the sharp end of the flawed security stick this week, and the funny thing is it seems that they both made the stick and have been responsible for the continued prodding with it.

Mary Jo Foley came up with an eye-catching headline, namely “Windows 7 chiefs: We messed up.”

We’ve only just mentioned the Pinch Trojan and here is another news report about it.

Variants of the Pinch Trojan are infecting users more than a year after the arrest of its original authors.

More than 4,000 PCs a day were getting infected by just one variant of the information-pilfering malware, according to net security firm PrevX, which bases this estimate on logs from a malware control website left open by cybercriminals.

This very old Trojan is simply not going away and speaking of Trojans, Nato is becoming a victim of them too.

Mr Anil reveals that there has been more than one incidence of Nato officials being socially profiled, and then subjected to “targeted trojans”.

He explains how their unseen adversaries gather as much information as possible about the individual then send them an email purporting to come from a friend or a relative.

Trojan horse

If they open the attachment then a sophisticated “worm” or “trojan” can, in theory, take over their computer, scan its files, send them on, delete them, or perhaps most damagingly, alter them without the user knowing.

The British NHS (National Health Service) worked closely with Microsoft and it turned out to be a disaster that keeps getting worse.

FOR THOSE OF YOU who had little faith in the NHS already, prepare for your blood to boil further as figures show that the number of severe faults in NHS computer systems has almost doubled in the last three years.

This article does not even mention hospitals that became botnets because Windows was required by the NHS [1, 2]. This translates into ‘theft’ (copying) of medical data, which will reach the wrong hands, not to mention the life toll. According to a research firm, there is an ever-increasing number of data breaches reported (many of which never get reported).

My official title may be “analyst,” but market research is the part of my job that appeals to the geek in me. Good thing I work at ESG, where we do market research around information assurance all the time.

We have already seen Windows disasters in bank ATMs and now it’s the Royal Bank of Scotland which becomes a victim, though it’s not entirely obvious which software — if any – was to blame because the article does not say. When will this end?

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