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

02.11.09

Is Windows to Blame for Cracking of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)?

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 11:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Emergency person

SEVERAL MONTHS AGO we wrote about the disasters which the FAA had been experiencing, probably due to its reckless choice of Microsoft Windows. Now we’re witnessing planes that are being grounded due to similar problems (Microsoft denies this). But it may all be just be ‘small potatoes’ compared to a crack of this scale, which the Associated Press wrongly characterises as “hacking”.

Hackers broke into the Federal Aviation Administration’s computer system last week, accessing the names and Social Security numbers of 45,000 employees and retirees.

Wonderful.

TechDirt has meanwhile gotten around to commenting on related news.

Unpatched, Virus-Infected Windows To Blame For Grounded French Fighter Pilots And Halt To Traffic Arrests In Houston

Reader Calvin sends in two separate stories of government institutions who apparently failed to patch their Windows machines to protect against the Conficker virus — despite the patch being available for many months. First, Houston police have stopped arresting people with outstanding traffic warrants and shut down the municipal court system for a few days to try to deal with their computer systems being overrun by the virus.

Whether a person is troubled by use of Windows or not, the side effects appear not only in billing (damage is compensated for collectively) but also in people’s E-mail. This is made possible owing to massive Windows-based botnets.

Virus authors are attempting to hoodwink unwary and lovestruck internet users with malware that poses as Valentine’s Day-related games and email greetings.

The hacker tactic is a familiar companion to annual holidays, such as Christmas, New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day. McAfee reports that the Valentine’s Day spam links to URLs pushing the Waledac Trojan, a strain of malware that has copied many of its techniques and features from the infamous Storm Trojan.

Another side effect of these turbulent experiences is being combated by a victim of the very same botnets which it fights, namely DNS. IDG published this report:

OpenDNS has added a feature to its Domain Name System (DNS) services to fight a widespread worm, with help from Russian security company Kaspersky Lab.

OpenDNS has its own network of DNS servers that translate domain names into IP (Internet Protocol) addresses so, for example, Web sites can be displayed in a browser. The company says its system is faster than using the DNS servers run by ISPs (Internet service providers) and provides better protection against phishing as well as other features such as Web content filtering.

As far as Microsoft is concerned, there is no solution to this (not even Vista 7) and some people are meanwhile dying. This is totally preventable because secure platforms like GNU/Linux exist and are readily available.

“[W]e’re not going to have products that are much more successful than Vista has been.”

Steve Ballmer

“David Smith commented that Gartner will not bash MS if MS chooses to slip Vista.”

Jamin Spilzer, Microsoft

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

7 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 11, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Gravatar

    When there was a major, cascading power outage on the east coast of the US, Windows was initially implicated. For about a day, as events unfolded, it looked every hour more and more like Windows was at the bottom. Suddenly all discussion and investigation appeared to stop and no further coverage of the cause was provided afterwards.

    So it’s not just now, during the recession that Gates has been putting salt on the wounds, he’s also been helping make the cuts, too.

  2. Ty said,

    February 11, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Gravatar

    That reminds of of the less serious but similar story about my state government not allowing anyone in the government to go on Myspace or Facebook. NOT because it is a waste of time but because of an uptick in Windows viruses from the sites.

    So instead of recommending that staff and officials get Linux or even get some Macs so the officials can post on their myspace and facebook pages, the IT security dept just wholesale blocked those sites and others!

    Stupid in my opinion!

    Quote:

    “We realize that this may be an inconvenience and we apologize,” Office of Legislative Information Systems Director Michael Gaudiello wrote in a note to the affected parties. “But it is essential that the integrity of the Maryland General Assembly computer systems and facilities are protected.”

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/politics/bal-te.facebook07feb07,0,1339786.story

    “It puts the General Assembly in the Stone Age” Said Del. Christopher B. Shank (R-Washington).

    “This is like China” Said Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Prince George’s).

    http://mobile.washingtonpost.com/news.jsp?key=348270&rc=tech#___1__

    Sad. People don’t learn.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 11, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Gravatar

    For similar reasons, USB devices are banned in some places.

  4. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 12, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Gravatar

    USB devices are only present anyway because Windows got into the infrastructure and makes it impossible to have networked file sharing. So it’s back to good old sneakernet, this time instead of 5.25″ floppies or even 3.5″ floppies its a dog-leash around the neck with a cluster of USB sticks.

    It’s damage by M$ from multiple angles there.

    Ban M$ products, and penalize the turds that deployed them, and you clear up 99% of today’s security problems. Of course that will mean a greater problem from web 2.0, but throw away all useless client-side scripting, flash and flash-like animations and you will clean up that vector as well.

    For years everyone stayed away from client side scripting cause it sucked and was insecure. It still is both. Some say that the only reason web 2.0 is to compensate for the move away from the permeable M$ products and add holes.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 12, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Gravatar

    What is “Web 2.0″ really?

  6. Ian said,

    February 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Gravatar

    @Needs Sunlight

    Are you serious, or just goofing around?

    USB devices are only present anyway because Windows got into the infrastructure and makes it impossible to have networked file sharing.

    Have you ever heard of CIFS or SMB or Samba or Windows shares or NFS or FTP or NCP? You do understand that you can transfer files over a network between two Windows boxes or a Windows box and a Linux box..right?

    Ban M$ products, and penalize the turds that deployed them, and you clear up 99% of today’s security problems.

    That’s an ignorant comment. Does Microsoft have a good history with security? Not really. Will everyone switching to Linux suddenly make admins impervious to leaving services turned on or not configuring firewalls correctly? Don’t make the mistake of thinking Linux boxes don’t get rooted.

    Some say that the only reason web 2.0 is to compensate for the move away from the permeable M$ products and add holes.

    That doesn’t make any sense. Web 2.0 is nothing more than an evolution of web design. It’s not a Microsoft thing, it’s not a Novell thing, it’s not a Linux thing, it’s not even a Google thing.

    Look, you hate Microsoft. That’s fine. But don’t make things up.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 12, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Gravatar

    I think s/he was referring to escape from desktop-bound applications.

What Else is New


  1. Boycotting Micro Focus International

    Microsoft's "Partner of the Year" is taking over the patron of SUSE and all of Novell's remains, except the patents (Microsoft has already grabbed those)



  2. Vesna Stilin's Remarks on Željko Topić: Part XI

    Vesna Stilin speaks about her confrontation with EPO Vice-President Željko Topić, who has criminal lawsuits against him in Croatia



  3. Links 22/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu MATE

    Links for the day



  4. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  5. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  6. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  7. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  9. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  10. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  11. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  12. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  13. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  15. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  16. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  17. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  18. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  19. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  20. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  22. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  23. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  24. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users



  25. Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  26. .NET is NOT "Open Source", But Microsoft's Minions Shamelessly Openwash It Right Now

    The openwashing of .NET continues with yet another publicity stunt that is intended to lock in developers



  27. Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

    Links for the day



  28. Patent Reform Subversion After Republican (GOP) 'Win' in US Senate

    The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple



  29. Microsoft-Armed Patent Troll MOSAID (Now Conversant) Wants to Sweep up More Patents for Litigation

    Reports about patent trolls and scope of patents serve to show what the foes of Free software are up to right now



  30. When Courts in the US Attack the Right to Reuse APIs

    Challenging the clueless ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the United States (very pro-software patents and anti-computer science), notable programmers write to the highest court


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