Summary: Microsoft continues to receive a free ticket when its long-neglected flaws lead to chaos, whereas when other platforms are affected, then they are named and shamed
LAST MONTH we announced the "Call Out Windows" campaign. We ought to set up a section for this, somewhere alongside existing campaigns (one of which is “Boycott Novell”). Today we have the editor of Linux Today slagging off reporters for refusing to name Windows as the culprit in a variety of articles about Windows-only problems. In summary she writes:
But Vista was released in Jan. 2007, and Windows 7 was released October 2009, and they’re supposed to be all more secure. Sure, there is still a huge legacy Windows base…but when you read malware definitions you quickly learn that the malware don’t care, all Windows are equally tasty.
This type of reporting is little more than propaganda. The goal is to convey the same message over and over: Cybercrime is entirely the fault of cybercriminals and careless users. Malware targets all PCs, that’s just the way it is and it’s nobody’s fault, except criminals and careless users. But this is pure baloney: The porous nature of Windows, and the entire Microsoft software stack, is the problem. Don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise.
What would it be like if Linux, or any real multi-user networking operating system with a sane design, were the standard operating system? I bet money we would not have tens of millions of Linux PCs in botnets, even with a large population of unsophisticated users. No botnets pumping out phishes, spam, and malware, no drive-by infections from merely visiting infected Web sites, no getting cooties from simply having an infected email or document on your system without even opening it, no viruses or worms spreading to millions of other computers in an eyeblink. It takes special talent and OS architecture to make those things possible.
The irony of it all is that when a worm targets Mac OS X, then every single journalist will name “Apple” or “Mac”. When it’s a Windows problem (as it happens to be well over 95% of the time), then it’s just a “computer problem”, or “computer virus”, or “virus” for short.
It is time to call out Windows.
“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”
–Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive