Bonum Certa Men Certa

Nuclear Windows Zombies

Submarine security
Arms race or bots race?



"Nuclear holy warriors" is a famous phrase that president George Bush used to instill fear in the minds of citizens and justify the invasion of Iraq. Hence the title, which is satiric.

Some days ago we wrote about Microsoft Windows Zombies as we highlighted the latest Microsoft flaw, which by Microsoft own admission has so far led to the hijack of millions of PCs. How serious is it? Very serious. An emergency (out-of-cycle) patch had to be issued for the second time in less than a month (RPC was the previous attack vector).

Microsoft warned on Saturday that attacks targeting the vulnerability, which affects versions of its flagship browser on all supported versions of Windows, are becoming more widespread. The security bug first came to prominence a week ago, just before the latest edition of Microsoft's update cycle.


A few more millions of zombies are still 'peanuts' in comparison with what the world already has. Web sites are getting hijacked as well.

10,000 sites hijacked



Because Microsoft hasn't fixed a flaw


Here is the amazing thing. Just weeks after a sort of national emergency, caused by the digital capture of a US army base (even the president needed to be approached due to severity), the British navy decides to put Windows in its submarines. This is insane, but not particularly surprising given the solidarity so nicely symbolised by the relationship between Bill Gates and Tony Blair.

Initial reports as the programme developed suggested that the OS in question would be Windows 2000, but those who have worked on it have since informed the Reg that in fact it is mostly based on XP.


Well, well...

What else is new? Cisco reports that Microsoft Windows zombies, of which there are hundreds of millions, carry on spewing out SPAM. The death of SPAM was greatly exaggerated as over 90% of E-mail is estimated to be SPAM.

A CISICO REPORT claims that more than 90 per cent of the email flowing around the net is spam created by armies of zombie botnets.


Some people would say, "well, just find an alternative to E-mail then." It's not so simple. The zombies can do a lot more than pump up pills, sex, and scams. Entire countries can be attacked and crushed via their infrastructure and Cisco, which has a broad eye on routing, warns about that too. All that junk traffic means extra sales for Cisco and higher fees for everyone else to pay ISPs.

Cisco says its researchers saw a 90% growth in threats originating from legitimate domains, nearly double what was seen in 2007. And the volume of malware successfully propagated via e-mail attachments is declining -- over the past two years, the number of attachment-based attacks decreased by 50% from 2005 and 2006.


Eistein once said: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." Mr. Eistein did not know about Windows zombies at the time, did he?

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