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Journalists Suggest Banning Windows, Maybe Suing Microsoft Over DDoS Attacks

Baywatch



Summary: Recent DDoS attacks (Windows botnets running amok) affect many people and lead to hard questions

NOW that Facebook and Twitter are under siege by Windows zombies [1, 2] (it's not over yet), a lot of people are negatively affected, not just taxpayers and hospital patients. Hundreds of millions of zombie PCs are living proof that there is no end in sight, not as long as Windows remains ubiquitous on the desktop.



Over at IDG, SJVN suggests getting rid of Windows. It's a modest proposal.

I thought that the massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks that knocked Twitter and other social networks out was because of Iran's government trying to shut down its protesters. I was wrong. Hundreds of millions of Internet users were annoyed because of Windows botnet-based DDoS aimed at one (1) person.

According to security company McAfee's director of security research Dave Marcus, "This was a very targeted attack, and what the research shows is that it was aimed at one particular person, and that person's accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LiveJournal." The target is a pro-Georgian blogger, but he's still just one man.


For some details on that person, here is the New York Times:

The cyberattacks Thursday and Friday on Twitter and other popular Web services disrupted the lives of hundreds of millions of Internet users, but the principal target appeared to be one man: a 34-year-old economics professor from the republic of Georgia.


Also:



That latter link comes from Glyn Moody, a journalist who wrote in Twitter that Twitter was killed "with a Windows botnet, probably. Time to start suing Microsoft, maybe..."

It is a question of liability, but before anyone claims that GNU/Linux would solve nothing, here is a new article worth reading. Code scans do suggest that mature Free software is inherently more secure.

"The fact that any security issue can be seen by thousands of eyes, in fact, makes it easy to find and fix security issues. If you got proprietary software, just because the security vulnerability may not be seen in the open doesn't make the code more secure," Kant told LinuxInsider.


Microsoft prepares to bring many more "critical" patches. It never ends, and it's remotely exploitable. Vista 7 will bring no change to the table. We wrote about this before, e.g. in:



Also see: When Does it Become Appropriate to Take Windows off the Information Highway?

"Two security researchers have developed a new technique that essentially bypasses all of the memory protection safeguards in the Windows Vista operating system..."

--Dennis Fisher, August 7th, 2008

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