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

02.13.09

Botnets and Bounties Versus Real Security

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 7:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

THERE ARE many reports this week about Windows security problems, but one that really stood out is this one from yesterday:

Microsoft is offering a $250,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the virus writers behind the infamous Conficker (Downadup) worm.

This was also covered in:

So Microsoft plays sheriff and puts money on people’s heads rather than actually produce secure and robust systems. That’s the equivalent of jailing many people for possession of illegal drugs rather than looking for ways to prevent the trafficking of such drugs. It completely ignores the causes and instead addresses an outcome. The outcome is not just tens of millions of hijacked computers in this case; the ‘outcome’ is also teenage cyber-criminal who are empowered by badly engineered systems. Will there be a bounty presented to combat each and every Windows virus that exists (there are over a million, including variants)?

In other news, 8 “critical” vulnerabilities have just surfaced in Microsoft software.

Microsoft Patches 8 Critical Vulnerabilities

Microsoft Tuesday patched eight vulnerabilities — three of them marked “critical” — in the company’s Internet Explorer (IE), Office, Exchange and SQL Server software.

“Critical” is the highest degree of severity in Microsoft’s scale, so it’s only reasonable to expect larger botnets. Speaking of which, Microsoft is again addressing the wrong problem in the wrong way when it tries to take apart botnets rather consider the reasons for their creation in the first place.

Microsoft has beefed up the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) that ships with its Windows operating system so that it will detect and root out the notorious Srizbi botnet code.

“This month’s MSRT takes on one of the largest botnets currently active worldwide,” wrote Microsoft spokesman Vincent Tiu in a blog posting Tuesday, the day the update to the software removal tool was released. “Win32/Srizbi has been accused of being responsible for a huge chunk of spam e-mail messages sent in the years after its discovery,” he added. “We hope to make a positive impact with the addition of Win32/Srizbi into MSRT.”

This is also covered here.

In other security-related news:

i. Fake Infection Warnings Can Be Real Trouble

Michael Vana knew something was up when he saw the pop-up from “Antivirus 2009″ in the middle of his screen. The former Northwest Airlines avionics technician guessed that the dire warning of a system infection was fake, but when he clicked on the X to close the window, it expanded to fill his screen. To get rid of it, he had to shut down his PC.

ii. Fraudsters cream opposition in cybercrime wars

The celebration of Safer Internet Day on Tuesday was marked by warnings that cybercriminals are staying ahead of defenders in their attempts to defraud or otherwise abuse internet users.

iii. Germany deploys cybersoldiers

GERMANY HAS REVEALED that it has a team of 76 soldiers who are trained to defend the country from cyber attacks and software piracy.

Once again, Windows and the Web are unable to play nice with each other:

New Windows virus attacks PHP, HTML, and ASP scripts

Researchers have identified a new strain of malware that can spread rapidly from machine to machine using a variety of infection techniques, including the poisoning of webservers, which then go on to contaminate visitors.

The malware is a variation of a rapidly mutating virus alternately known as Virut and Virux. It has long proved adept at injecting itself into executable files, which are then able to attack uninfected machines through network drives and USB sticks.

A reader has just alerted us that a man is moving from the Ministry of Finance to Microsoft, hinting at possible government connections. Microsoft has already 'pulled an EDGI/MOU' around there.

Regarding news coverage like this one, wrote the reader, “the non-cached page has some nasty tricks to wipe out non-Javascripted browsers.” Further he added: “I have often wondered if the sudden push to web 2.0 is to compensate for loss of access that various interests have as people depart Microsoft Windows. The reasons for snubbing client-side javascript are still valid, perhaps more so than years past. Certainly there has been no value added. What does get added, aside from slowness and loss of functionality, is a whole slew of ways to remotely access content or activities on the client.”

Those who want a secure system ought to look at GNU/Linux.

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

6 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    February 13, 2009 at 7:20 am

    Gravatar

    Don’t bad guys sometimes get more motivated when there is a bounty on their head?

    The FOSS way is better. They give. They open up. They give you reasons to be a white hat. They also allow for many white hats so as to keep black hats in check/ineffective. The varied ecosystem limits damage. Etc. Etc.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 13, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Gravatar

    Someone has just raised the valid point that it’s important for Microsoft to point its finger at someone, so the company pays up.

    Hospitals across the UK become botnets due to Conficker? Don’t blame Microsoft. Blame… *that* guy.

    If you leave your door open every night, expect intruders to come through the door one night.

  3. Jose_X said,

    February 13, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Gravatar

    PHP and HTML.. like apache and firefox and ?? are having their names tarnished through associations with Microsoft. It seems whenever Microsoft messes up, they pull down these guys so as to appear to stay even.

    Not smart to embrace a viper.

    These devs should dissociate themselves with Microsoft.

    Tomorrow, these apps may need a paying license simply to run on MSware and maybe even on wine http://boycottnovell.com/2009/02/04/the-api-trap-part-1/ . In any case, why support their monopolies http://boycottnovell.com/2008/11/25/jose-on-mono/ . And let’s not forget the deception that defines Microsoft http://boycottnovell.com/2009/02/08/microsoft-evilness-galore/ .

  4. Jose_X said,

    February 13, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Gravatar

    >> Don’t blame Microsoft. Blame… *that* guy.

    From the article: “This month’s MSRT takes on one of the largest botnets currently active worldwide,” wrote Microsoft spokesman….

    -> Microsoft is taking on bad guys for people’s sake. Microsoft is helping us fight the evil forces of humanity. [Shoot that robot.]

    Anyway they try to spin it, this doesn’t change: Microsoft keeps tons of secrets to themselves (until these escape) so that they can take much more of all our money. The result is that there are fewer people equipped to defend against attacks because Microsoft is not sharing.

    Anyway you look at it, Linux is more responsive to security/safety needs because it’s secrets belong to everyone (and not just to greedy employees and criminal spies).. not coincidentally, making it less expensive than Windows in many ways.

    I wonder if this Conficker tapped into an MS secret or vuln or design flaw that Microsoft can’t afford (isn’t willing) to really fully fix.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 13, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Gravatar

    Some holes are designed to be there for the secret services. It was officially confirmed more recently.

  6. Jose_X said,

    February 13, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Gravatar

    >> Not smart to embrace a viper.

    In the future, I’d expect WinFOSS (and not MS’ apps) to be affected by certain types of malware (because of vulnerable system hooks given to FOSS by Microsoft).

    Thus some FOSS devs sell out to Microsoft (and enrich their hostile closed monopoly platforms to the detriment of Linux&friends) only to be betrayed. ..Tell me something new.

    Speaking of betraying “partners”… and of having their hand forced too early, initiating costly ventures, and unbridled ambitions: http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE51B7K620090213 “Microsoft to open own stores, take on Apple”

    Besides their own brand, they will probably do more new partnering (eg, with companies run by their ex-execs) to produce brand name FOSS derivatives to eliminate the vanilla apache, php, etc.

    To get into MS’ store, you will need to kiss their ring and take you seat back in the auditorium (for the most part, unless you are an ex-softie — though these too will be sacrificed as necessary).

    Just what we need. Microsoft’s arrogance, bullying, and profit-hoarding, extended into more areas affecting consumers and existing markets.

What Else is New


  1. Sometimes Sounding 'Rude' Can Be Necessary

    We need to quit accepting this corporate-led ideology that says you cannot 'offend' people whose work is of offending quality (an offense against technical standards)



  2. Status Update: DDoS, Traffic, Interns

    Times are difficult for liberty/freedom; but we're trying to stay on top of it all in spite of attempts to derail us



  3. GNU/Linux Still Not Controlled Purely by Large Corporations

    Linus Torvalds was not fully canceled; nor was Richard Stallman, who's still heading the GNU Project (under conditions specified by those looking to oust him; people who code for Microsoft GitHub and many IBM employees)



  4. The Need for Purely Independent Media

    The media crisis, which has deepened greatly as more journalists are laid off amid pandemic, means that the PR/B2B industry takes over what's left of news sites; we need to counter this worrying trend



  5. Links 7/6/2020: Sparky 2020.06, Wine Staging 5.10, Vulkan SDK 1.2.141

    Links for the day



  6. GNU is Open Source

    "The GNU Project is no longer ethical. RMS may care, but he's outnumbered enough by liars and traitors."



  7. Chairman of the Board of Red Hat Explains He Was Introduced to GNU/Linux When It Helped His Regime Change in Haiti

    General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Board of Red Hat, explains (keynote in 2011 Red Hat Summit/JBoss World) that he was introduced to the system as part of a military campaign; it basically helped war, not antiwar



  8. The Faces of 'The Cloud' (Surveillance in Clown Computing/Clothing)

    Consolidation of the world's computers/servers and the stories told by photo ops; we're particularly interested in IBM's relationship with Condé Nast, which owns The New Yorker and Wired



  9. Microsoft is Now in the Technical Advisory Board of the Linux Foundation

    Techrights politely takes note of the growing role (or roles) of Microsoft employees inside the Linux Foundation; there are now at least half a dozen people



  10. Two Things IBM and Microsoft Have in Common: Layoffs and Fake Hype Like 'Clown Computing' and 'Hey Hi' (AI) as Perceived 'Opportunity' for 'Growth'

    The infamous pair of monopolists, Microsoft and IBM, are both suffering during the COVID-19 lock-downs (no matter how hard they try to spin it and/or distract from it)



  11. IBM (Red Hat) Lectured FSF That It Needed More Diversity, But Was It Looking at the Mirror? IBM and Red Hat Are Even Less Diverse.

    Techrights examines Red Hat’s (IBM’s) hypocritical claims about the Free Software Foundation, founded by Richard Stallman back when IBM was the “big scary monopolist”; IBM employees were prominent among those pushing to oust Stallman from the GNU Project, which he founded, as well



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, June 05, 2020



  13. Guix Petition Demographic Data, by Figosdev

    That old anti-RMS letter, which called for his removal (or resignation) from GNU (RMS is the founder of the GNU Project), as characterised by metadata of signatories



  14. When You Realise People Who Don't Support RMS Do Not Really Support GNU, Either

    The (in)famous letter against Richard Stallman (RMS), which was signed by many Red Hat employees with Microsoft (GitHub) accounts, doesn’t look particularly good in light of recent revelations/findings; it increasingly looks like IBM simply wants Microsoft-hosted and “permissively” licensed stuff, just like another project it announced yesterday and another that it promoted yesterday



  15. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part III: What Happens When You Tell the Truth About Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation

    One might not expect this from a so-called 'charity'; the Gates Foundation's critics are often met with unprecedented aggression, threats and retribution, which make one wonder if it's really a charity or a greedy cult of personalities (Bill and Melinda)



  16. Links 6/6/2020: Bifrost Meets GNOME, Wine 5.10 is Out

    Links for the day



  17. Links 5/6/2020: LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.3, Rust 1.44.0, and Hamburg's Pivot to Free/Libre Software

    Links for the day



  18. This Article About GitHub Takeover Never Appeared (Likely Spiked by Microsoft and Its Friends Inside the Media)

    And later they wonder why people distrust so much of the media (where paying advertisers set the agenda/tone)



  19. Raw: How Microsoft and/or the EPO Killed an Important EPO Story About Their SLAPP Against Techrights and Others

    Spiking a story about spiked stories about corruption



  20. The Linux Foundation 'Bootcamp' -- Badly Timed and Badly Named in June 2020 -- Only Uses Linus Torvalds Like a 'Prop' (for Legitimacy) While Promoting Militarised Monopolies

    Sometimes a picture says a lot more than words, especially in light of political events in the US and a certain Chinese anniversary we cannot name (Microsoft censors mentions of it)



  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 04, 2020



  22. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part II: When Media That You Bribe Calls All Your Critics 'Conspiracy Theorists' (to Keep Them Silenced, Marginalised)

    The assault on the media by Bill Gates is a subject not often explored by the media (maybe because a lot of it is already bribed by him); but we're beginning to gather new and important evidence that explains how critics are muzzled (even fired) and critical pieces spiked, never to see the light of day anywhere



  23. GitHub is Not Sharing But 'Theft' by Microsoft

    Microsoft buying GitHub does not demonstrate that Microsoft loves Open Source (GitHub is not Open Source and may never be) but that it loves monopoly and coercion (what GitHub is all about and why it must be rejected)



  24. The Huge Damage (Except for Patent Lawyers' Bottom Line) Caused by Fake European Patents

    The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps granting fake patents that cause a lot of real harm (examiners are pressured to play along and participate in this unlawful agenda); nobody is happy except those who profit from needless, frivolous lawsuits



  25. Red Hat/IBM Got 'Tired' of RMS. Is It Getting 'Tired' of GPL/Copyleft Too?

    After contributing to the cancellation of Richard Stallman (RMS) based on some falsehoods perpetuated in the media we're seeing the sort of thing one might expect from IBM (more so now that it totally controls Fedora and RHEL)



  26. Links 4/6/2020: Proton 5.0-8 Release Candidate, GNU Linux-libre 5.7

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 03, 2020



  28. Social Engineering of Free Software, Based on Corporate Criteria

    What "professional" nowadays means in the context of coding and honest assessment of technical work



  29. Weakening GNU/Linux by Disempowering Its Leaders and Founders, Replacing Them With Microsoft Employees and GNU/Linux-Hostile Moles

    The coup to remove (or remove power from) Stallman and Torvalds, the GNU and Linux founders respectively, is followed by outsourcing of their work to Microsoft’s newly-acquired monopoly (GitHub) and appointment of Microsoft workers or Microsoft-friendly people, shoehorning them into top roles under the disingenuous guise of "professionalism"



  30. Sword Group Violates Its Own Commitment by Working for the EPO

    The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps outsourcing its work to outside contractors (for-profit private entities) to the tune of hundreds of millions if not billions — all this without any oversight


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

Recent Posts