07.10.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

The Windows Security Theatre

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 1:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Airport

Summary: Many security reports from The Register and little more of the rest

McAfee is far from a friend of Free software [1, 2] and its remedies for Windows may sometimes cause more harm than good. Here is a fresh new example of why this paradigm of sold-separately bolted-on security software simply does not work. To quote, “IT admins across the globe are letting out a collective groan after servers and PCs running McAfee VirusScan were brought down when the anti-virus program attacked their core system files. In some cases, this caused the machines to display the dreaded blue screen of death.”

One of our readers says that “admins use Knoppix to fix borked McAfee antivirus” and he points to this new example where someone suggests: “For servers with BSOD we have used knoppix live cd to move files from quarantine to original place…”

In other news, Microsoft is preparing patches for flaws that enable hijacking of Windows, probably remotely. These flaws are very serious. Some of them are already being actively exploited (without a solution available).

Microsoft on Tuesday plans to release updates patching three critical Windows security vulnerabilities, two of which are already under attack.

Attacks must always precede reaction in Microsoft's case.

Why might this happen? Well, maybe because, according to some more news, Microsoft has knowingly ignored a serious flaw for a year. It is so typical.

Microsoft knew of nasty IE bug a year before attacks

The disclosure comes as attacks targeting the MSVidCtl ActiveX control vulnerability have increased exponentially. On Monday, online ads distributed by through the Giant Realm network on popular gaming websites began including code that exploits the bug, according to security firm ScanSafe. The ads mean that anyone using IE to browse sites such as diii.net and incgamers.com are risk if they run the XP or 2003 versions of Windows and have not yet installed a quick fix.

We have already shown that Microsoft deliberately hides its flaws. Victims of this careless, selfish behaviour are all of us who receive spam from hundreds of millions of Windows zombies. To rephrase the news (The Register again), spam levels have returned to normal.

Victims may include more hospitals too, according to this last bit of news from The Register.

The leader of a malicious hacker collective who used his job as a security guard to breach sensitive Texas hospital computers has been arrested just days before his group planned a “massive DDoS” attack for the July 4 Independence Day holiday.

Hospitals are hit by Windows viruses on a very regular basis this year [1, 2, 3, 4] and according to this article from Sam Varghese Microsoft is profiteering from it.

How Microsoft benefits from Conficker

Microsoft experts were among consultants called in by the council – and they took home some of the £1.2 million which the body paid out to get the problem resolved. Exactly how much was paid to the different consultants was not divulged.

In reference to some of these shocking figures, one of our readers asks, “What can be bought?” He uses Manchester as an example:

There was a recent article about the UK city of Manchester which just paid nearly $2.5 million in clean up for the Windows worm Conficker. That’s one worm in one city.

If we take some numbers for the sake of argument and play with them, what could we buy with $2.5 million.

Say for the sake of argument that top developers (in several fields of computing) and UI designers cost $100,000 apiece including insurance, pensions, equipment and work space rental. That would provide for a team of 10 for 25 years, or a team of 25 for 10 years, etc.

So for a decade, for the same price, Manchester could work out a re-packaging of Fedora and some needed applications:

5 development engineers
5 deployement engineers
5 HCI specialists
10 half-time support
3 full-time support
2 managers / marketeers

The magnitude of the money lost pursuing the Windows ideology is mind-boggling.

Contrary to common belief (mind the interesting comments), Microsoft could really use some money which is made through its own incompetence. The reality of the matter is that Microsoft has faltered for years (even financially) and it now amasses some debt.

But going back to this subject of security, Heise reports show that Apple is no role model either, not with its proprietary, DRM-locked phones.

iPhone 3GS cracked

[...]

The Dev Team are well known for their free iPhone jailbreaking and unlocking tools (QuickPwn, PwnageTool, Yellowsn0W, etc.), however, they have yet to release a tool that’s compatible with the 3GS and version 3.0 of the iPhone software.

Symbian faces challenges too. Symbian is still proprietary (in phases of transition).

Security on Symbian mobiles: Early signs of crumbling

[...]

At the recent Pwn2Own 2009 security contest, none of the competitors succeeded in hacking a Symbian mobile.

Free Software Magazine has a good new comic on that subject of security.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

2 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    July 10, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Gravatar

    There are enough people in Symbian trying to make it really open source and to operate as a bazaar, not a cathedral (as Netscaspe and OpenOffice fell into). It’s a long haul, though, for an owned corporate open source project. Remember that the “cathedral” examples in The Cathedral And The Bazaar were free software, not proprietary.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I think it was David (Woods?) from Symbian who made remarks that are hostile towards the GPL and factually incorrect. Symbian is more into “open source” (Eclipse). Then there’s DRM and their landmark software patents case in the UK.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] [Teaser] Oligarchs-Controlled Patent Offices With Media Connections That Cover Up Corruption

    As we shall see later today, the ‘underworld’ in Bulgaria played a role or pulled the strings of politically-appointed administrators who guarded Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO



  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 24, 2021



  3. Links 25/10/2021: EasyOS 3.1 and Bareflank 3.0

    Links for the day



  4. The Demolition of the EPO Was Made Possible With Assistance From Countries That Barely Have European Patents

    The legal basis of today's EPO has been crushed; a lot of this was made possible by countries with barely any stakes in the outcome



  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania

    We continue to look at Benoît Battistelli‘s enablers at the EPO



  6. Links 24/10/2021: GPS Daemon (GPSD) Bug and Lots of Openwashing

    Links for the day



  7. Links 24/10/2021: XWayland 21.1.3 and Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS Daily Build

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 23, 2021



  9. Links 24/10/2021: Ceph Boss Sage Weil Resigns and Many GPL Enforcement Stories

    Links for the day



  10. GAFAM-Funded NPR Reports That Facebook Let Millions of People Like Trump Flout the So-called Rules. Not Just “a Few”.

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. Some Memes About What Croatia Means to the European Patent Office

    Before we proceed to other countries in the region, let’s not forget or let’s immortalise the role played by Croatia in the EPO (memes are memorable)



  12. Gangster Culture in the EPO

    The EPO‘s Administrative Council was gamed by a gangster from Croatia; today we start the segment of the series which deals with the Balkan region



  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”

    The EPO‘s circle of corruption in the Balkan region will be the focus of today’s (and upcoming) coverage, showing some of the controversial enablers of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, two deeply corrupt French officials who rapidly drive the Office into the ground for personal gain (at Europe’s expense!)



  14. Links 23/10/2021: FreeBSD 12.3 Beta, Wine 6.20, and NuTyX 21.10.0

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  16. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  17. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  18. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  19. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  21. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  22. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  23. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  25. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  26. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  27. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  29. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  30. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts