12.23.09

One in Two Windows PCs is a Zombie PC (Part of Botnet/s)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 4:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michael Jackson - Thriller

Summary: Trend Micro reveals catastrophic but unsurprising figures about the loss of control of Windows; End is in sight because of erosion of Windows (revenue already down 40%)

Recently we saw Trend Micro claiming that Vista 7 is less secure than Windows Vista. Trend Micro was not the first to make such a claim. Trend Micro is by no means a fan of Free software, either. In fact, it sued a Free software project last year, so questions about bias ought to be quelled [1, 2, 3, 4], except the fact that Trend Micro is an insecurity company, which means that it makes money from problems it exaggerates and accentuates (like OpenLogic and like Black Duck, who target perceived security of Free software licensing).

“A few months ago, Microsoft itself claimed that a third of all machines which it scanned had been infected.”Vinton Cerf and Mr. Geer, both of whom are highly regarded individuals, estimated the Windows zombies levels (head count) to be somewhere around hundreds of millions. That was 2-3 years ago. In 2008, a security firm showed that almost half of all PCs (Windows) are zombies. 40% was the rate that it found. A few months ago, Microsoft itself claimed that a third of all machines which it scanned had been infected.

Those numbers make a lot more realistic and defensible the following new figures from Trend Micro, which claims that about half a billion PCs (about 50% of all systems) are infected with malware.

Trend Micro World Virus Tracking Center (WTC) recorded that 253.4 million systems were infected with malware. The comparable volume for 2009 is almost double at 491.2 million…

This did not prevent the US government from putting one of the men responsible for Windows insecurity in charge of national cybersecurity. Amazing!

On the bright side, however, Beth Lynn Eicher provides this summary which shows that Microsoft’s days as very dominant on the desktop are numbered. She is backed by many renowned individuals who concur and provide evidence.

I am not the first to predict Microsoft’s demise with Linux to the better. Heck, I am not even the first to predict a dramatic drop in a 24 month period. Be sure to put Newsweek and Techblorge on your list of people who are calling doom for the software giant. What makes my prediction unique, is I allow you, the spectators of this $20 bet, participate in the discussion of what will we use on June 30, 2011. Now that is community.

[...]

From what I can see, Microsoft is shrinking. It would be to Microsoft’s benefit to get out of the FUD business and focus on selling out of Windows 7.

Sadly, Vista 7 would do nothing to improve security (see links below). Meanwhile it is safe to assume that 1 in 2 Windows PCs is already a zombie waiting to unleash another payload on the Internet. Australia might need to kick half of all computers off the Web, leading more people to installing GNU/Linux on the same PCs.

  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)
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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/12/23/loss-of-control-of-windows-pcs/

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