03.12.09

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Isn’t the MSBBC Breaking the Law by Hijacking 22,000 Taxpayers’ PCs, at Taxpayers’ Expense?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 2:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft BBC

Summary: British computer crime law is broken by the BBC, which invades the Windows PCs of people without their permission

IT IS NO secret that Microsoft Windows is insecure by design and almost 1 in 2 Windows PCs is a zombie, but the BBC has just done something bizarre which is also a violation of the law.

As The Register puts it:

An investigation by the BBC into cybercrime may itself have broken UK computer crime law.

BBC Click got its hands on a botnet of 22,000 compromised PCs from an underground forum. It used these machines to send spam to two accounts it had established with Gmail and Hotmail. The programme also used these zombie machines to show how they might be used in a denial of service attack.

Slashdot says that the “BBC Hijacks 22,000 PCs In Botnet Demonstration” and The Inquirer’s headline is “The BBC hacked my computer.”

The result is loads of dire warnings about the perils of bot nets and shedloads of long ‘easy to follow’ explanations from the ‘zany’ BBC tech presenter.

What was the BBC thinking? Surely the unthinkable. It is actually being funded by the victims, thus adding insult to injury.

Those who prefer not to have the BBC (or a malicious cracker) take over their computer without any permission ought to take a look at GNU/Linux unless they already use it.

Here is the original report from Click:

Software used to control thousands of home computers has been acquired online by the BBC as part of an investigation into global cyber crime.

The technology programme Click has demonstrated just how at risk PCs are of being taken over by hackers.

Almost 22,000 computers made up Click’s network of hijacked machines, which has now been disabled.

The BBC has now warned users that their PCs are infected, and advised them on how to make their systems more secure.

We are no fans of the BBC because it is increasingly occupied by Microsoft employees, who obviously discriminate against GNU/Linux. Details below.

On BBC and Microsoft:

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3 Comments

  1. Mike Brown said,

    March 12, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Gravatar

    And yet again, Windows gets a free pass when this subject is discussed. The article and the program clip managed to explain the entire subject without mentioning the word “Windows” even once.

    Neither has any follow-up article that I’ve seen anywhere mentioned “Windows” (present company excepted, of course!)

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 12, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Gravatar

    Yes, that’s the BBC.

    A common complaint they receive is that BBC’s ‘gentle introductions’ to things cast “Windows” as “computer”. This helps perpetuate the myth that there is no choice.

  3. Needs Sunlight said,

    March 13, 2009 at 3:25 am

    Gravatar

    Speaking of building the myth that computer== windows, there’s an error in the headline. The headline reads “PCs” when the term “Windows machines”, “Windows systems”, “Windows desktops” or similar should be used.

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