03.01.10

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Microsoft Bailout for Microsoft Money and Trillions in Damages

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 1:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ben Bernanke official portrait
Will the Fed write off another measly trillion or so?

Summary: Microsoft leaves customers and their financial data stranded while Windows botnets cause an untold but extremely large damage (estimated at over a trillion dollars)

Microsoft’s many dead products include Money [1, 2]. Those who relied on Microsoft for their accounting are pretty much screwed or seriously inconvenienced at the moment. André Rebentisch writes about “Microsoft Money data bailout

Microsoft Money, a Quicken competitor, is discontinued. But what happens to users and their “locked in” data?

* A request to disclose the .mny format documentation of Microsoft Money was denied.
* Some Microsoft developers suggested to open source the obsolete product which would imply disclosure of the interface information.

Let this teach us about the failures of proprietary software and the dangers associated with using it. A more considerable danger is the fact that plenty of financial data is stored on a platform with ~50% change of already being hijacked. The following report from several days ago (IDG) reminds us that many servers run GNU/Linux and UNIX, so desktops — not servers — are quite typically being targeted.

Attackers going after end users rather than servers

[...]

Rather than targeting Web and email servers, attackers these days are prone to going after enterprises from the inside out, compromising end user systems and then using them to access confidential data, according to a Web traffic analysis report by security-as-a-service provider Zscaler.

What would be the impact on banking? The answer ought to be obvious. A couple more reports from IDG (covered before based on other sources) say that the scale of cyberattacks is immense and most companies are already affected:

Three quarters of Asia Pacific enterprises — and two thirds of businesses in Singapore – have experienced cyberattacks in the past 12 months, according to new global research.

The 2010 Symantec State of Enterprise Security Study, released last week, found that 38 per cent of Asia Pacific enterprises, and 67 per cent in Singapore, rank cyberrisk as their top concern, more than natural disasters, terrorism, and traditional crime combined.

This contributes perhaps to trillions of dollars in damages. A lot of people are still shocked by these numbers because they have not been paying enough attention.

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