06.06.09

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Microsoft Windows Botnets Attempt to Change the Outcome of the British Elections

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Security, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 4:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: The Register has 4 new reports which highlight a political menace caused (or at least enabled) by Windows’ flaws

IT IS just so appalling that in the presence of very many Windows zombies, any Web site — including ours — can be taken offline by those who disagree with its views. This affects political Web sites too. Two weeks ago it was BNP and now that elections are due, the Web sites of the Conservative and Liberal Democrats party are both being DDoSed.

The website of the Conservative Party was hit by a denial of service attack early on Thursday morning, just as Britons went to the polls for the most closely-watched European elections for years.

Is Labour the only notable party not to have been hit by a DDoS attack just yet?

Also in yesterday’s news from The Register there is this: UK Communist website abused by Chinese hackers

The affected file on the website is associated with serving up Microsoft Silverlight script, suggesting an important part of the site’s multimedia environment was affected by the security breach, net security firm Sophos reports.

If it were not for Windows zombies, could massive resources be amassed to carry out such attacks?

A third new article from The Register says that Windows malware gives a real headache to online banks.

In November, Mineev and two other men were accused of carrying out a scam that secretly installed keylogging software on the PCs of bank and brokerage customers. Russian defendant Alexander Bobnev used the malware to hack into the customer accounts. He would then send emails instructing Mineev to transfer money out of the accounts and into a specially designated bank account.

There is nothing new coming from Microsoft to resolve such serious issues which are repetitive. According to this fourth new report from The Register, Microsoft informs of many “critical” flaws in its software. There are no patches yet.

Microsoft is having an especially bulky Patch Tuesday, with the release of ten updates – six of which will address critical flaws.

Vista 7 is likely to be even less secure than its predecessors, including the very vulnerable Windows Vista.

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6 Comments

  1. Windefender said,

    June 6, 2009 at 5:08 am

    Gravatar

    You mean fanatic windows supporters wanted to damage the tories and their support for open source by using insecurities of their Windows operating systems?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I mean fanatic opposers of the Tories either attacked their site or hired someone to do it. Windows is the unregulated gun on the counter.

  2. Windefender said,

    June 6, 2009 at 6:02 am

    Gravatar

    But the Tories support Open Source. I believe the incident has to be seen in the context of critical information infrastructure protection and demonstrates why companies as Microsoft should be liable for their security holes.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    There was a hearing about that in parliament:

    http://news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000000189,39285532,00.htm?r=1

    Also in Germany:

    http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/86932

  3. twitter said,

    June 6, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Gravatar

    Q: If it were not for Windows zombies, could massive resources be amassed to carry out such attacks?

    A: No. Software freedom protects users from Windows type issues in every way non free software is now protected and also has several key additional protections for users and organizations.

    Diversity. Every Windows machine has basically the same low level memory map regardless of hardware used. GNU/Linux varies by device drivers and distribution. Damage is limited to small subsets of the market with GNU/Linux where Windows is p0wn once p0wn everywhere.
    Easy disaster recovery. GNU/Linux systems have sane user data, system binary separation so that system rebuilds are fast and complete. Where Windows users have to reach for 8 year old “OEM disks” and a raft of patches, GNU/Linux users can always start fresh with the latest and greatest by net install.
    Software quality. Free software almost always has better design and fewer bugs. The more important a piece of code is, the better built it will be. Transparency and sharing mean that bugs can be quashed at their source and fixes shared everywhere. Lack of sharing in the non free world means that fewer people are dedicated to repairing bugs in redundant code. Non free error accumulation is a power function where the number of bugs grows by size, complexity and number of vendors required to do a particular job, E(s,nv,nf)=s**(nv*nf)
    where E is the number of exploitable bugs
    s = size of software package
    nv=number of vendors
    nf=number of functions performed.

    Any test or protection non free software users perform can and are easily performed by free software organizations. The least useful and most costly ones, such as full file virus signature scanning are not required with free software. Other measures do the job better.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    For more details about memory allocations being changed, see this.

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