04.23.10

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IDG and The Register Don’t Call Out Windows; McAfee Whitewash

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 8:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Journalists continue covering up Microsoft’s mistakes, therefore acting to discourage an exit to platforms other than Windows

WE have begun a campaign that urges journalists to call out Windows. At a later date we will have some cohesive Web pages about it.

Adding to the examples we gave a few days ago, we now have a couple more, submitted to us in part by readers. Please do shout out when coming across articles that describe Windows-only problems but never mention “Windows”. We should at least name the publications which are repeatedly doing this (and really, it’s not so hard or impolite).

The first example was spotted by Glyn Moody, who points to this article from The Register and argues: “this is Microsoft Windows-only – never mentioned.” A Ubuntu superstar, Popey, points to the same item and writes: “No mention that it only affects Windows computers.” Here is the opening part:

NHS computers hit by voracious, data-stealing worm

The UK’s National Health Service has been hit by a voracious, data-stealing worm that’s easily detected by off-the-shelf security software, according to researchers who directly observed the mass compromise.

“No mention that it’s Microsoft Windows that’s getting infected,” said a British reader to us (by E-mail). Those 3 Brits are rightly concerned because they have their data on these computers. If people’s medical records are so easy to obtain from the outside, ransom/blackmail will follow and may never be reported to the police. This is why some people here in the UK are reluctant to give their data to the doctor, who typically still inputs some things using Internet Explorer 6 (only very recently did the NHS move beyond IE6). We have just created this new Wiki page about the NHS and its relationship with Microsoft. It’s nothing new when it comes to Windows at the NHS.

Another new example comes to us via USENET. A new thread points to this post from IDG (ComputerWorld). It claims “305,000 [new] zombies per day” and it says: “Most zombies are consumer PCs, connected to the internet over domestic DSL or cable broadband.”

As Nessuno puts it, “Most zombies are consumer PCs….and they don’t run Linux….and they don’t run OS/X…and they don’t run OS/2….and they don’t run BSD…and they don’t run CP/M….”

Given the estimates above, that would be about 100 million new zombies per year. Estimates that about one in two Windows PCs is a zombie PC are not controversial anymore. Even the figures that Microsoft handed over last year were similar. Microsoft found this out through its anti-virus program and those who install anti-virus software are far from guaranteed to be safe, based on several independent studies that claim such software to be ineffective (excepting the placebo effect).

Yesterday we wrote about McAfee doing more harm than good to Windows and a reader sent us the following message just an hour ago:

McAfee Retracts Bug Damage Estimate

Absolutly total silence in the mainstream press on the latest McAfee bork …

http://www.zdnet.com.au/mcafee-retracts-bug…
http://slashdot.org/story/10/04/21/1735211/McAfee-Kills…
http://www.zdnet.com.au/mcafee-clients-do…
http://www.zdnet.com.au/coles-clo…

Windows security is an oxymoron. It’s time for journalists to call out Windows (at the very, very least).

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2 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    April 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Windows security is an oxymoron.
    I would not go that far.
    It’s time for journalists to call out Windows (at the very, very least).
    I agree that calling out the OS in general is a good idea, though.

  2. Dr. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 25, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Gravatar

    I would not go that far.

    You took that too literally.

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