12.23.09

Government Shoots Itself in the Foot by Letting Microsoft Control Insecurity Departments

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, UNIX, Windows at 6:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: President Obama puts a fox in change of the hen house with yet another appointment of Microsoft for security; Microsoft helps malware writers

THE United States government is not engineered for security because it hires "security" people from the very same company that causes a lot of the problems. The DHS is already affected and Obama pondered making Scott Charney, head of Microsoft’s cybersecurity division, the US cybersecurity czar. Eventually he picked another person from Microsoft for this job (also in [1, 2, 3, 4]):

The White House is naming a former Microsoft and eBay executive as the government’s new cyber security coordinator. Former Bush administration official Howard Schmidt will lead the effort to shore up the country’s computer networks.

More here:

Obama names former Microsoft exec new U.S. cybersecurity czar

President Obama this morning named a new U.S. cybersecurity coordinator: Howard Schmidt, a longtime computer security specialist who has worked as an executive for companies including Microsoft and eBay, and as a security adviser to the administration of George W. Bush.

How shameful. We have already explained why this is a mistake and when poor decisions are made in the future it may be possible to blame them on bias. One reader of ours wrote in relation to this news: “If they already have the technical knowledge, then why haven’t they made a computer that can’t be compromised to be used in botnets, merely by clicking on a URL or opening an e-mail attachment?

Also in yesterday’s news we now find:

Microsoft AV advice may aid attackers, researcher warns

A security researcher is taking Microsoft to task for advising customers to exclude certain files and folders from anti-virus scanning, arguing the practice could be exploited by pushers of malware.

Microsoft shows malware writers where to hide

In a document published on its support site, Microsoft suggests that users do not need to scan some files and folders for malware as a way to improve performance in Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, Server 2003, Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2. “These files are not at risk of infection. If you scan these files, serious performance problems may occur because of file locking,” the Vole said.

Microsoft accused of helping virus writers [via]

Security firm Trend Micro has accused Microsoft of giving malware writers a helping hand by advising users not to scan certain files on their PC.

In an article published on Microsoft’s Support site the company claims it’s safe to exclude certain file types from virus scans because “they are not at risk of infection”. Microsoft claims ignoring these files will help improve scanning performance and avoid unnecessary conflicts.

Yes, Microsoft does not seem to have a clue about security.

Microsoft’s influence in the United States government is increasing and this is becoming a matter of national security. They spread that so-called “Microsoft religion” to areas that are mostly UNIX- and Linux-based. They ignore many decades of good practices.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the national security is also implicated by the efforts of hackers to break into computing networks. Computers, including many running Windows operating systems, are used throughout the United States Department of Defense and by the armed forces of the United States in Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft

Eye on Competition: Microsoft ‘Religion’, Apple ‘Cult’

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Windows at 5:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Light of hope

Summary: A couple of offbeat items from yesterday

Give me that Microsoft Religion – NOT!

Because the Microsoft religion, or cult if you will, isn’t rational. It can’t be rational. When you worship something, it has to have a value to you. Microsoft has no value to the end user, in part because the company has no ethics.

I feel sorry for the Microsoft worshipers, worshiping at the feet of a false idol, worshipers of a false religion.

Apple tries to fix broken Imacs

Apple fanboys who bought Imacs have been plagued with display problems. Some machines arrived with cracked screens, and apparently Apple has been replacing those, while other Imac punters have suffered flickering displays.

The company initially denied that there were any problems with its Imacs and still won’t admit that there is anything wrong with the machines. However, it has released a firmware update.

[..]

Apple delayed shipping the 27-inch Imacs earlier this month, claiming that it was having supply problems. However, some people suspected that delay was really announced because it did not want more bad press.

It still won’t say that the 638K update will solve everyone’s Imac display problems. Its notice says, “If your screen remains black after applying the updater or if you continue to experience image corruption or display flickering after successfully completing this update, contact AppleCare or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.”

So far some users have said that the firmware update still has not resolved their problems. Some of them have seen screen flickers again within a few minutes of restarting after the update. Others claim that their problems have been fixed.

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