Bonum Certa Men Certa

Turkey, France, United Stated Under Attack by Microsoft Windows Insecurities

Time for France to move to GNU/Linux more quickly as its
weapons are now controlled/disabled by Windows viruses


THE PREVIOUS POST shows that even Bill Gates recognised the fact that Windows was not secure. What would be the severity of the impact? Let's find out based on this week's news alone.

Under Siege



We have already seen national armies falling prey to Microsoft Windows viruses. This is not just embarrassing; it can cost lives. In fact, it already does, but there is no liability.

“France should move to GNU/Linux more rapidly in order to prevent a disastrous weaponry blunder...”According to this report (in French), Conficker has just shut down a weapons system in France, so the Royal Navy should take notice. This hardly happens with UNIX/Linux systems, which IBM has just deployed to control/manage the nuclear weapons facilities of the United States (see this post under "HPC").

France should move to GNU/Linux more rapidly in order to prevent a disastrous weaponry blunder, but it's not just France that made such headlines due to a confidential letter that raised serious concerns about the safety of French military networks.

Turkey is having some similar problems.

A suspect who allegedly used spyware to snoop on Turkish government computers on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) faces charges punishable by up to ten years behind bars in Turkey.


The United States too:

Employees at federal security agencies are being notified that their personal information may have been compromised after hackers planted a virus on computer networks of government contractor SRA International.

SRA began notifying employees and all of its customers after discovering the breach recently, company spokeswoman Sheila Blackwell said Tuesday. The malicious software may have allowed hackers to get access to data maintained by SRA, including "employee names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and health care provider information," the company said in a notification posted at the Maryland Attorney General's Web site.


End within sight? Not likely.

Botnets Grow Bigger



"Spam will be a thing of the past in two years’ time."

--Bill Gates, 2004



Rather than improving, it just keeps getting worse.

Spam continues to pour into the mailboxes of internet users worldwide, despite concerted efforts by security and law enforcement agencies to stop the deluge, including a decisive but ultimately temporary blow late last year.


"Windows has taken a once useful and reliable communications medium and turned it into unreliable garbage," tells us a regular reader. "For the garbage part, spam is pushing 80% of all e-mail because of Windows. I wonder at what point the milestone in traffic will get passed where Windows malware passes ftp-data."

More news on Conficker:

The zombie network created by the Conficker worm is yet to go "live", but it's displaying curious behaviour that yields potential clues to its origins and purpose.


Conficker is still growing stronger and old Trojans are not going away, either.

A WHOLE year after the authors of a malware site were arrested, some 73 Brits are still infected by a variation of the infamous Pinch Trojan, according to security software vendor, Prevx.


Here is a new example of the impact on every-day lives, including those who do not use Windows.

Malware distributed by fake parking tickets



[...]

A malware infection was propagated through flyers put on windshields in Grand Forks, North Dakota, reports SANS institute.

The flyers were fake parking violation notices, and instructed people to visit a website (which SANS did not publicize). Once they visited the website, they were infected with a malicious browser helper object.


Such a sordid mess can sometimes affects banks.

Vista 7 is More of the Same



As we emphasised before, Microsoft says almost nothing about security improvements in Vista 7. Well, that's because there are none. This is in contrast to the lies Microsoft had been spreading before Vista came.

Despite being in "test" status (beta) that wrongly indicates maturity, the operating system is not secure and it keeps looking worse as people study it more closely.

As you probably know by now, Windows 7 introduces some new in-between modes for User Account Control (UAC). By default, Windows 7 (beta thus far) ships with UAC configured at the “Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer.” level. As the UAC helper text indicates, “this setting does not prompt when you change Windows settings, such as control panel and administration tasks.”


Vista 7 builds were already open to hijackers (without security patches made available) and more on the above vulnerability can be read here. Those who want a secure operating environment should take a glimpse at GNU/Linux.

"Our products just aren't engineered for security."

--Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive



Stop nuclear weapons
Bad Vista even worse when used in military

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