Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Angers the World by Asking for a Form of Security Bailout, More Fundamental Windows Flaws Found

Screaming



Summary: Microsoft's recommendation of "Internet tax" for removing Windows botnets/zombies doesn't fly; Windows DEP (data execution prevention) is busted

EARLIER in the week we wrote about Microsoft's Charney suggesting that everyone -- UNIX and Linux users included -- should pay [1, 2] to compensate for Microsoft's own negligence [1, 2, 3]. Many people already pay for the damage collectively; for instance, if banks lose money due to zombie Windows PCs that compromise accounts, then interest rates will be lessened. These are some of the hidden costs everyone pays for Microsoft's incompetence. In Germany, it's hardly even hidden anymore.



"Microsoft's Laugh-a-Minute Show Continues," says Glyn Moody regarding Microsoft's arrogant suggestion.

Can you believe it? Microsoft's lousy programming has caused *billions* of pounds worth of damage to the global economy in terms of downtime, lost files (and probably blood pressure problems) and it has the bare-faced cheek to suggest there should be an “Internet usage tax” on *everyone* (including GNU/Linux users) to pay for the rectification of *its* mistakes? No wonder Scott Charney has the humorous and manifestly self-contradictory title of “Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Trustworthy Computing”....


Here is another response: "Taxing every citizen for Microsoft Windows problems? Are we insane?"

Just when you think you've heard everything, something new arrives. Two years ago, we heard that half a million computers are infected with malicious bots every day (a "bot" is a software program that enters your computer from the Internet or inside infected files, then runs in the background to steal your data, send spam or wreak havoc in some other way).

This is a huge problem both because we depend on digital data in too many ways to explain them here (but you may read about them in the Open Government Book) and because of environmental reasons. According to a McAfee report published in May 2009 the amount of energy used every year to transmit, process and filter spam would be enough to power 2.4 million homes, with the same Greenhouse Gas emissions as 3.1 million passenger cars.

On March 2nd, 2010, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Trustworthy Computing Scott Charney spoke at a computer security conference about this very theme, that is how to fight the damages caused by computers infected by bots (or "malware").

According to the summary published on ComputerWorld, Mr Charney started correctly. He pointed out that, just as there are quarantine programs for people with infective diseases, the same thing should happen with people who have computers infected by malware but, for any reasons, won't fix them up as soon as possible: such people should not be allowed to go online until their computer is clean and safe.


Windows is insecure not because people are negligent; Microsoft itself is extremely negligent and there are many examples of this. "Typical Windows user patches every 5 days," says this new report from IDG (quoting Secunia).

75 Microsoft, third-party patch events each year are a burden most users can't bear, says Secunia


Here is Berend-Jan Weve finding another security problem in Windows. From SJVN:

Honest to God I don't go around trying to pick on Windows for its security problems, but the hackers keep finding new ways to break into it. And, this time, they've found a doozie. Berend-Jan Wever, aka "Skylined," a Google security software engineer has busted DEP (data execution prevention), one of the few significant security improvements Microsoft has made to Windows.

DEP, which was added to Windows back in August 2004 in XP SP2. It addressed the very common hacking technique of buffer overflows. In a buffer overflow attack, a malicious program tries to overwrite the buffer, the amount of memory a program has been allocated for running its code in. By so doing, a buffer overflow overwrites memory that may or may not have been allocated to other programs. In either case, it can then use this overwritten memory for its own purposes. Usually this means running malware or even taking over the computer itself.

[...]

Unfortunately, Wever, using a variation of a hacking technique he helped perfect called heap-spraying has busted DEP. In heap-spraying, the attack code made an educated guess at where vulnerable memory that could be used to execute unapproved programs could be found. In Wever's latest trick, the attacking code looks for clues on where to find memory that's allowed by DEP to run programs. Once armed with this information, the attack code can then successfully plant itself in the system.

While the attack code isn't ready to go for any script-kiddie, as Wever himself points out, he has given enough information on how to defeat DEP that it's only a matter of time before a competent cracker uses the code to start enabling new attacks.

[...]

In short, if you're running 32-bit Windows of any sort-XP, Vista, 7, Server 2008-you can look 'forward' to being even more vulnerable to attacks. Have I mentioned lately that I tend to do most of my desktop computing with Linux? Well, I am. This exploit opens up a new and huge hole in Windows' already vulnerable defenses.


For some of its better enhancements to security, Microsoft relies on Free software in the form of firewalls, even virus scanners.

The open source ClamAV project is often used on servers as a way to scan and secure e-mail gateways and Windows file shares. Now ClamAV is coming to the Windows desktop too, by way of the cloud.


Vista 7 is not a solution because it's not secure either. See the links below.

  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)
  11. Trend Micro: Vista 7 Less Secure Than Vista
  12. Vista 7 Less Secure Than Predecessors? Remote BSoD Now Possible!

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

Microsoft Lacks a Solid Strategic Plan Other Than Buying Its Own Stock (and Paying Staff in Shares)
Beware and be cautious of bubbles
Microsoft's Chatbot Strategy Resulted in Massive Losses, So Now It's Trying to Reinvent Itself as 'Hardware Company' (Once Again, Years After XBox, KIN, Windows Phone and Surface Failed Miserably)
revenues associated with Windows has fallen sharply
 
Microsoft's Pearls of Wisdom: Layoffs Are Growth
Microsoft boss: layoffs are "long-term growth."
[Meme] Hide the Bodies
hiding EPO's role in funding Lukashenko
Josef Kratochvíl and All the European Patent Organisation's Chiefs (at the Administrative Council Too) Notified That Over 1,000 Members of Staff Demand Action on Patent Quality and Compliance (Industry Too is Alarmed That Many Invalid Patents Get Granted)
Huge corruption
Debian trademark canceled
Debian trademark canceled
Links 23/02/2024: Feed Aggregator and 2 Years of Invasion, Alexei Navalny’s Mother Blackmailed
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/02/2024: Getting 'Sick' of Modern Tech and Deletion of One's Reddit Account
Links for the day
Links 23/02/2024: 227 Microsoft Layoffs Noted in Santa Clara and Disaster in Rivian
Links for the day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 22, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, February 22, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
[Meme] It's NOT Your PC
losing control of hardware
Gemini Links 22/02/2024: Removing Radio Ads and Being Seen on the Internet
Links for the day
Mark Shuttleworth and the Question of Liability (Debian Volunteers He Pressured Before the Suicides)
Humanity for me
Mark Shuttleworth's (MS) Canonical Running Microsoft (MS) Ads, Mischaracterising Mass Surveillance as 'Confidential' (the Usual Lie)
The money talks, so the facts are absent
Ads as 'Articles'
Money buys perception manipulation (or reputation laundering) campaigns
Abraham Raji & Debian, DebConf kayak death: search abandoned, evading liability
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 22/02/2024: Chatbots Failing 'Big Time' and More Condemnations Appear of Bill Gates
Links for the day
There May be Close to 100,000,000 Laptops and Desktops Running GNU/Linux Around the World in 2024
hard to track the number
Search Engine Market Share Worldwide Shows How Badly Microsoft's Chatbot Strategy (Hopes) and Vapourware Have Failed
Bing, which was marketed as the forefront "product" for chatbots (Microsoft paid the media a lot of money for hype campaigns), gained nothing at Google's expense
[Meme] Demoralising and Putting Down Your Staff
unproductive and dangerous approach
This Week's Letter to António Campinos About Mean-Spirited Line Managers at the European Patent Office (EPO)
Seems like a way to get rid of staff. Some will resign in anger.
Software in the Public Interest (SPI) & Debian obfuscated structure fooled suicide victim's family: the ultimate example of bad faith
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 21, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Gemini Links 22/02/2024: What We Pass On and HTTP Header Viewer
Links for the day
Manuel Estrada Sainz (ranty), Andres Garcia (ErConde) & Debian Deaths overworking
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
GNU/Linux Rising to 8% of Desktops/Laptops in Jordan?
what statCounter shows
[Meme] If Iraq Launches an Investigation Into How Microsoft Bought OpenAI Without Paying for It
fake "money" from Microsoft
Windows Has Fallen to 13% Market Share in Iraq (It was 100% Just 15 Years Ago), GNU/Linux Rose Sharply in Recent Years
In recent years Iraq was developing its own GNU/Linux distro
Springtime is Next, Here's What We Plan for March and April
This month and next month we expect to publish something unique about EPO abuses every day
Studying the Freedom of firefox-123.0.tar.bz2
The "F" in Firefox
Abraham Raji, Jens Schmalzing & debian-private cover-ups after deaths, accidents, suicides
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Microsoft Bribes, Keeping Regulators at Bay
crime and corruption
[Meme] The Quotas Came From Above
EPO targets
EPO Talent Planning & Architecture is Another Attack on EPO Staff and the Central Staff Committee (CSC) Explains Why
ignore the flowery words
[Meme] Just Following Orders From "The Fu**ing President" António Campinos
Salary? OBEY!
Links 21/02/2024: China Working on West-less Tech Future, More Bounties on Patent Troll Leigh M. Rothschild (Which IBM et al Failed to Dismantle at the Root)
Links for the day
Links 21/02/2024: Encryption Backdoors Deemed Not Legal, Decentralised Web Under Attack
Links for the day
Games:Steam Audio as Free Software, Hazard Pay, ChipWits, and More
7 stories for today
Julian Assange, Wikileaks & Debian-private
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 20, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Links 21/02/2024: Microsoft Sued for Monopolistic Policies, More Layoffs Planned for Next Month
Links for the day