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12.09.09

Germany Takes Microsoft’s Bill

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 4:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Football fever in Germany

Summary: German citizens to pay the price of Windows malware, regardless of whether they are Windows users at all

FREE software and GNU/Linux are obviously growing rapidly in Germany [1, 2], but in some parts of the country Microsoft and its ecosystem are profiteering from Conficker and other worms that are the fault of Microsoft incompetence. As the news from Germany puts it, taxpayers will pay reparations for Microsoft malware rather than the other way around. This “sends exactly the wrong signal: gives permission to code badly,” argues Glyn Moody.

THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT has decided to spend a lot of its citizens’ tax money helping them recover from malware directed at Microsoft machines.

Spiegel Online reports that the government wants to prop up another industry giant. The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) plans to team up with Internet service providers (ISPs) to establish a call centre helping Windows users who have malware problems.

It is not as though Microsoft ever seriously considered liability; the company’s developers are knowingly negligent and careless.

The above news is covered by some other Web sites and there is also a suggestion that Germany will adopt a kick-off-the-Internet policy which Australians spoke about earlier this year.

With the economic crisis still being in full effect, Germany wants to throw government money at another industry giant. However, this time it is not an ailing car manufacturer, but the software producer Microsoft. The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) plans to team up with internet service providers (ISPs) to establish a call center helping malware-troubled Windows users.

The project was announced today at the German IT summit in Stuttgart. Starting in 2010, ISPs will track down customers with infected PCs, e.g., by looking for communication with botnet controllers. These customers will then be directed to a special website offering advice on removing the malware. If this is unsuccessful (or the site is blocked by the malware), people will get access to a call center, where a staff of about 40 will try to fix the problem.

Those botnets lead to many other damages that everyone on the Internet suffers from. Earlier today we wrote about Windows and SPAM, which is increasingly coming from more countries. The Internet’s botnets are a global issue, so a crackdown on Windows zombies in Germany and Australia would not suffice.

Either way, until Windows is removed, it is likely that GNU/Linux users too will pay the price, collectively.

The German government has allocated a secret budget to fund call-centers to help Windows users whose PCs are infected with malware. Microsoft’s support costs are thus being borne at taxpayer expense.

For what it’s worth, appended below are references which show that Vista 7 is as vulnerable as other versions of Windows (some say it is even more vulnerable). Windows Vista was never secure and experts argue that Vista 7 is even less secure than Vista.

  1. Cybercrime Rises and Vista 7 is Already Open to Hijackers
  2. Vista 7: Broken Apart Before Arrival
  3. Department of Homeland Security ‘Poisoned’ by Microsoft; Vista 7 is Open to Hijackers Again
  4. Vista 7 Security “Cannot be Fixed. It’s a Design Problem.”
  5. Why Vista 7 Could be the Least Secure Operating System Ever
  6. Journalists Suggest Banning Windows, Maybe Suing Microsoft Over DDoS Attacks
  7. Vista 7 Vulnerable to Latest “Critical” Flaws
  8. Vista 7 Seemingly Affected by Several More “Critical” Flaws This Month
  9. Reason #1 to Avoid Vista 7: Insecurity
  10. Vista 7 Left Hijackable Again (Almost a Monthly Recurrence)
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