08.10.09

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DDoS is a Virus!

Posted in Humour, Microsoft, Search, Security, Windows at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Worry

Summary: DDoS is really just another virus, or is it?

AS WE pointed out before [1, 2, 3], Twitter issues were caused by Windows-based computers that got infected and became part of a botnet. But here is a nice new example of miscomprehension in the press.

As you might notice, the portuguese article is a copy from the guardian, which was imprecise and the local clueless reporter just turn it worse. Calling DDoS a virus, saying that the attack was for London and putting the information leak paragraph out of any context, it just reveals how bad are tech reporters here.

Truthfully, these DDoS attacks did cause some further issues of spam and scareware, and even developers were caught in the crossfire. But DDoS is not a virus; by definition, however, Windows is both spyware and malware (albeit a very expensive and complex piece of malware).

In other interesting news, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has just been cracked. It is a cross-site scripting issue, but such issues can sometimes be assisted and exacerbated by a weak stack, as evidenced by ~500,000 massively-cracked IIS-powered Web sites, which became victims due to similar vulnerabilities. That was last year. Needless to say (because it’s the UK), the MoD is a Windows shop. Lessons learned, if any?

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6 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    August 10, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Gravatar

    “by definition, however, Windows is both spyware and malware (albeit a very expensive and complex piece of malware).”
    Well, I would not go that far. However, it does host the majority of malware and spyware out there.

  2. Charles Oliver said,

    August 11, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Gravatar

    I think maybe that Roy is indicating that, things like WGA make Windows spyware and maybe things like DRM to your graphics card and switching off the HD output in the presence of copyright material make it malware. I could be wrong or be thinking of different examples to the ones in Roy’s head.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I was actually thinking about reports such as this one:

    “Forget about the WGA! 20+ Windows Vista Features and Services Harvest User Data for Microsoft”
    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Forget-about-the-WGA-20-Windows-Vista-Features-and-Services-Harvest-User-Data-for-Microsoft-58752.shtml

    Charles Oliver Reply:

    That’s an interesting article. On Ubuntu (and other Debian based distros) the only spyware is popcon and you have to opt in for that, so I’m not sure it really counts.

    Charles Oliver Reply:

    Excluding, of course, cookie based stuff from browsing (including the flash equivalent of cookies).

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Have you by any chance come across the latest (and very recent) controversy about a Firefox plug-in in Ubuntu that silently sends feedback?

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