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07.16.11

National Security Compromised by Microsoft Windows

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fortress

Summary: Documents relating to ballistic missile defense and star wars leaked to crackers owing to Windows, allegedly

AN anonymous poster found this blog item (“DoD: 24,000 files swiped in March from military contractor systems”) which suggests that “Because they use Windooze about 24.000 (!) classified documents got stolen by foreign state-backed hackers. The documents included information on, among other things, JSF and the ballistic missile defense.

“If they’d used Linux this probably wouldn’t have happened. Congress needs to legislate a government ban on using Windows, as it’s unreliable and insecure BY DESIGN.”

Techrights wrote about the subject of Windows compromising many lives. It did so many times before, so to avoid repetition we’ll cite one of the earliest such posts and quote Jim Allchin of Microsoft as saying: “It is no exaggeration to say that the national security is also implicated by the efforts of hackers to break into computing networks. Computers, including many running Windows operating systems, are used throughout the United States Department of Defense and by the armed forces of the United States in Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

Yes, well done, Microsoft.

In other news, this time referring to Hotmail:

Did Microsoft Just Admit Hotmail Is the Most Hijacked Service?

[...]

Dick Craddock, Group Program Manager, Hotmail, writes in a company blog, “We released this feature a few weeks ago. Initially, it only let you report Hotmail accounts that were compromised. But it worked really well – we got thousands of reports of compromised accounts.”

Those “thousands of reports of compromised accounts” apparently “worked really well”. Priceless. As we pointed out some years ago, Hotmail is a top source of SPAM. Security there is an absolute joke and no wonder companies choose Google over Microsoft for such services.

As Microsoft continues its steady decline (as discussed in last night's show) it will be remembered as the company which did not take security seriously. The costs of getting cracked were simply passed to the customer.

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

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3 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    July 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Gravatar

    The Department of Defense is very hierarchical and could make a top-down mandate to rid itself of M$. The nation as a whole would benefit.

    For the civilian population, again a ban on M$ products for sale would work, though be a bit of a shock for some. Having TSA wipe NTFS partitions at the border would be a harsh but effective message.

    A market-based approach would be to break the monopoly on OEMs.

  2. walterbyrd said,

    July 16, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Gravatar

    1) I dislike Microsoft as much as anybody. But, you do not seem to any real evidence linking Microsoft to the theft of the 24,000 documents. Is it really fair to blame Microsoft for that?

    2) I work as an “IT Specialist” for the DoD. It seems to me that decisions, at the DoD, are made by politics, and bureaucracies, and have nothing to do with what makes sense. The people at the DoD who make decisions about technology, do not know anything about technology. The MNCs have a lot of influence with the DoD. The DoD loves proprietary, and hates F/OSS; and I seriously doubt that is going to change.

  3. mcinsand said,

    July 18, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Gravatar

    In the US, some basic security/safety flaws are either illegal or would rightfully get a company sued for negligence. Do you think we could get away with selling cars that have tin-can external gas tanks tied to the bumper with twine? What about selling childrens’ toys that are spontaneously flammable? Food containers where the labels are printed in lethal ink? However, when a huge chunk of the population, now approaching the majority if not there, uses the Internet for e-banking, e-purchases, or making any other agreements, using Windows is very dangerous to our national security. We, in the US, have painted a huge target on our rear ends over the past decade, and our adversaries are no longer fighting with 20th century weapons. To continue to allow a megalithic OS architecture like Windows is to guarantee that we will have an ‘electronic Pearl Harbor.’

    Regards,
    mc

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