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. The EPO's Media Partners Like Les Echos Already Produce EPO Puff Pieces (Marketing/Stenography)

    EPO promotion disguised as reporting or journalism, as seen in the media partners of the EPO well before these partnerships even begin



  2. Unitary Microsoft: EPO Excludes People Who Are Not Microsoft Customers From UPC Participation

    The EPO just can't help providing special treatment to Microsoft, not only when it comes to patent applications but also when it comes to rejecting stakeholders/applicants who dare not become Microsoft customers



  3. Links 30/5/2016: Linux 4.7 RC1, Best Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  4. Make Nothing, Sue Everybody: The Reality of Patent Trolls Increasingly Understood by the 'Mainstream'

    New patent stories and even extensive coverage at PBS, which dedicated a whole program to these matters but failed to address the core issue, which is software patenting



  5. [ES] Advertencia: La Vigilancia de la EPO Surveillance Puede Haberse Convertido en Más Intrusiva

    BlueCoat, que la EPO usa para oprimir a sus empleados en sus premisas Europeas, acaba de ajustar más y hacerse más intrusiva y los empleados pueden estar en riesgo



  6. [ES] Tarjeta de Victima Termina en Otra Torpeza para Battistelli Seis de su Guardia Pretoriana

    Battistelli esta destruyéndo lo que queda de la reputación de la EPO (después de las décadas que le costó a ella construírla) mientras los medios continúan escrutinando su desastroso régimen



  7. [ES] La EPO esta Excelente, Dice Sitio de ‘Noticias’ Conectado a Ella

    Los caraduras de la ‘revista’ IAM, viejo aliado de la EPO, da la impresión a la gente de que en la EPO todo esta bien y dandy aunque claramente ese no es el caso



  8. New EPO Caricature: Nouveaux Garde-Vélo (New Bicycle Guards)

    A new cartoon poking fun at Battistelli's bicycles and the perceived threat these are under



  9. Battistelli's 'Special Relationship' With Portugal and the 'Inventor of the Year' Charade

    What makes Portugal rather unique when it comes to Mr. Battistelli, who is allegedly desperate for support from smaller countries whose vote is easier to 'win'



  10. Patent Lawyers' Marketing Dominates and Marginalises Meaningful Analyses of Software Patenting in the US

    In an effort to create demand for software patents again, patent lawyers produce a huge heap of so-called 'analyses' which piggyback just one single decision (the exception, not the norm)



  11. A Mix of Patent Aggression and Sanctions/Raids (Using Controversial Patents) Against East Asian Companies

    New stories that demonstrate patent protectionism and show how Western industry, which barely makes anything anymore, relies on patents (software and design patents included) and this self-serving patent regime perpetuates itself even in Asia, where almost everything is actually being manufactured (and often/increasingly designed/developed too)



  12. Rumour: Battistelli Wants to Extend the Term of Topić's EPO Appointment in Spite of Criminal Charges Against Him

    The EPO's 'ringleader', Mr. Battistelli, is trying to keep his confidants (like Mr. Minnoye and Željko Topić) together for several more years to come, even defying rules regarding retirement age



  13. Links 29/5/2016: NetBSD 7.0.1, Genode OS 16.05

    Links for the day



  14. [ES] La Gerencia de la EPO Bajo Creciénte Estres por las Autoridades Legales Croatas, Políticas Alemanas, y los Medios Italianos

    Las cosas no son color rosa como la calma relativa sugiere, y esperamos en las próximas semanas mayores eventos otros que la protesta en todas las sedes de la EPO a través de Europa



  15. [ES] Los Medios de Comunicación Comienzan a Informar al Público Europeo Acercas de las Desventájas de la UPC Mientras que la EPO Acelera su Cabildeo por Ratificación

    La vergonzósa promoción de la UPC por parte de la EPO da otro paso adelánte mientras que venues de la prensa Europea (incluso canales de televisión) comienzan a explorar el arreglo secreto que es negociado por los abogados de patentes (con clientes corpórativos) y las oficinas de patentes, no el público o cualquier grupo que represente los intereses del público en general



  16. [ES] Algunos Detalles Acerca de ¿Cómo el Presidente de la EPO Es Rumoreado Estar Comprando Votos, y el Porqué es Suficientemente Base Para un Despido Inmediato?

    Algo de información tras las cortinas y una detallada explicación de la dependencia finánciera sistemática, creada por Battistelli a un costode €13 millónes o más, la cuál evita una efectiva supervisión de Battistelli



  17. Mishi Choudhary and Mike Masnick Explain Why India Should Reject Software Patents

    Both an Indian activist-lawyer and a widely-recognised author from the US explain to Indians why over-reliance on patents -- and acceptance of patents on software in particular -- is a very bad idea



  18. Microsoft Boosters Pretend Microsoft Fights for Privacy While the Company Uses Malware Tactics to Put Keyloggers on Everyone's Computers

    In spite of malware-inspired tactics that should land Microsoft in courts of law all around the world (as a defendant), Microsoft-friendly circles pretend that the company fights for people's rights like privacy -- all this when Microsoft installs keyloggers on people's PCs without their consent and obviously against their will



  19. Battistelli's Assault on EPO Staff's Right to Strike in Relation to French Politics and That 'Bicycle' Pretext for Crackdowns

    The latest bicycle 'gossip' and how it's being used, based on expectations from EPO staff, to introduce further crackdowns on human/labour rights



  20. Vice-President of the EPO Under Investigation: Treason, Abuse, Violations, Giving and Receiving Bribes

    An English translation of documents involving the Organised Crime Section of the Criminal Police Department in Zagreb, where the Vice-President of the EPO faces criminal charges



  21. EPO Management Warns People About Scams When the EPO's Management is Itself Falling for Scams

    Jesper Kongstad, the Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, helps demonstrate that not even the EPO is intelligent enough to spot an obvious scam



  22. Links 28/5/2016: Wine 1.9.11, New Gentoo

    Links for the day



  23. Links 27/5/2016: Android for Raspberry Pi, Google Beats Oracle in Court

    Links for the day



  24. Warning: EPO Surveillance May Have Just Gotten Even More Intrusive

    BlueCoat, which the EPO uses to enable oppression inside its European premises, has just gotten even nastier and staff may be at risk



  25. Victim Card Ends up in Another Blunder for Battistelli and His Six Bodyguards

    Battistelli is wrecking what's left of the EPO's reputation (after decades it took the Office to earn it) as the media continues to scrutinise his appalling regime



  26. Italian Report About EPO Now Available in English

    An English translation of a TV program which earlier this month documented some of the glaring problems at the EPO



  27. The EPO is Doing Great, Says EPO-Connected 'News' Site

    IAM 'magazine', a longtime ally of the EPO, gives people the impression that all is fine and dandy at the EPO even though that's clearly not the case



  28. Microsoft Has Killed Nokia (and Its Own Mobile Ambitions), But Watch What it Does With Patents

    Microsoft announces many more layoffs, having already caused tremendous damage to the Finnish economy, and patents are left astray for Microsoft's favourite patent trolls to pick



  29. EPO Management Under Growing Stress From Croatian Law Enforcement Authorities, German Politicians, Italian Media

    Things are not as rosy as the relative calm may suggest, and in the coming weeks we expect some major events other than the protest at all EPO sites across Europe



  30. Microsoft, a Dead Company Walking, Resorts to Malware Tactics, Now Truly Indistinguishable From Crackers

    Microsoft is essentially taking over people's PCs and installing on them a large piece of malware, complete with keyloggers, against the will of these PCs' owners


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