Summary: Janet Napolitano
from Microsoft speaks on behalf of the DHS about the effect of Windows zombies
A couple of weeks ago we warned about the possibility that the US security czar will be a Microsoft employee. This is alarming because the new DHS
secretary is a Microsoft employee (correction: that would be Phil Reitinger entering the DHS, coming from Microsoft) who has just changed jobs [1, 2]. This was enabled under pressure from the BSA, a Microsoft front. Essentially, they installed more of Microsoft DNA inside the government.
this Microsoft employee the secretary is now speaking on behalf of the DHS where she warns about “cyber threat”, probably Windows botnets.
The issue of cyber security is of “great concern” to the US, the nation’s homeland security secretary has said.
Janet Napolitano told the BBC that protecting against virtual attacks was something the US was “moving forward on with great alacrity”.
“Virtual attacks” must refer to DDOS. So, she must be aware of the simple observation that hundreds of millions of Windows PCs out there are zombies. Will she recommend migrating to the more seucre UNIX/Linux? That would be a betrayal of
her Reitinger’s colleagues at Microsoft. And either way, this would not block botnets in other countries. They can still hammer on any target at the behest of the botmaster.
Last week we wrote about Windows zombies costing the economy hundreds of billions per year, accroding to estimates of the cost of SPAM alone. This is the product of Windows botnets. Glyn Moody uses some of the available figures to write about “the huge cost of Microsoft software” (to its surroundings, collectively).
Yesterday I wrote about a report from ACT that brought up the issue of TCO for free software.
As I pointed out there, it’s old news that free software has costs; but what is more interesting is the fact that fans of the proprietary world always fail to point out the huge hidden costs of using poorly-written closed-source software. Here’s a great demonstration of my point:
The `Conficker worm’ caused chaos when it hit Manchester town hall in February. Now we can reveal the bug cost the council more than £43,000 in `lost’ bus lane fines.
The computer problems meant 1,609 tickets could not be issued within the 28-day legal limit – rendering them useless.
In total, the Conficker worm cost taxpayers in Manchester nearly £1.5m, the M.E.N has learned.
A £1.2m bill in the IT department, including £600,000 getting ‘consultancy support’ to fix the problems, which including drafting in experts from Microsoft;
£178,000 in extra staffing costs across the town hall – including £169,000 going to clear up a backlog of benefits claims and council tax bills;
Compensation payments due to delays in processing benefit claims.
A few things to note here.