EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.03.08

Citibank Signs Deals with Microsoft, Deliberately Blocks GNU/Linux Users

Posted in America, Bill Gates, Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, SCO, Security, SUN, Windows at 1:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Background

Patterns which are learned from history can be useful for the establishment of an hypothesis — in this case it being the hypothesis that Microsoft partners have implicit obligations which favour Microsoft and ‘punish’ its rivals. This can be harmful for many reasons and even cost lives at times.

The US Federal Aviation Administration seems to have gotten itself entangled after choosing Microsoft, but there are many other government departments which follow a similar route. The US Library of Congress comes to mind as a recent example of Exclusion Through Silverlight™ [1, 2, 3].

Just moments ago we attempted to show that the BBC’s deal with Microsoft seems to have resulted in exclusion of GNU/Linux users and even bashing.

Bank of America

In the case of the Bank of America, even Firefox was banned — until recently. To say more about this:

“As the usage of Firefox browsers has increased with our customer base, we will be initiating a full support model for Firefox version 2.x in the very near future,” spokeswoman Tara Burke told Networkworld.com.

Think “the very near future” will prove to be very soon? Don’t bank on it.

This was a case of merely beginning to support something other than Internet Explorer, despite its many known deficiencies and continued lack of adherence to standards. It’s stubborn snobbery. But what about GNU/Linux, the operating system level?

Welcome Citigroup

One reader, Jose, points out that Prince Alwaleed leads to just one link among others between Microsoft and Citibank (“Prince Alwaleed proposes Microsoft operation for Kingdom”). Bill Gates is mentioned there too. Remember where the SCO cash infusion almost came from and witness the many bits of circumstantial evidence.

According to Bill Parish, “[i]t is often forgotten that crown prince Al-Waleed saved Citicorp from going under a decade ago.” So a circle seems to be closing. Moreover, just watching old news, collaborations between Microsoft and Citibank are clear for all to view. Here are 3 examples:

1. Microsoft Business Solutions Joins Forces With Citibank Merchant Services To Offer Enhanced Retail Management System

Building on their strong relationship, Microsoft Corp. and Citibank Merchant Services today announced an extension of their collaboration to offer Microsoft® Business Solutions’ customers — specifically small and midmarket retailers — technology and services designed for the independent merchant. The agreement, announced at the National Retail Federation (NRF) 92nd Annual Conference & Expo, enhances Microsoft Retail Management System (RMS) by introducing a new payment processing module.

2. Microsoft Signs Citibank Indian Software Unit Deal

Microsoft Corp has formed an alliance with Citibank’s Indian software unit Citicorp Information Technology Industries Ltd (CITIL) to market the latter’s banking products world-wide. CITIL will use Windows NT and Back Office as its platforms of choice. Microsoft will sell the Indian firm’s banking industry products – Microbanker, Fundpower, and Finware – all over the world.

This pair seems to have gotten pretty close with a joint bill venture dating one decade ago:

3. Citibank joins Microsoft bill venture

Citibank has made an equity investment in MSFDC, a controversial joint venture of Microsoft and First Data for online bill presentment and payment.

Citigroup Snubs GNU/Linux

Blaming security, Citibank refuses to support GNU/Linux. Customers are furious. They deserve to be.

So you use that web browser to fill the application for a credit card at Citibank, and finally receive it. But when you start using that credit card and want to check you card usage on-line, the system won’t work when accessed with Linux. That’s exactly what has got Linux users furious at the banking giant.

Jason Antman, a techie and IT major at Rutgers University in New Jersey, got furious last week after realising that getting a card from Citibank using a Firefox is as easy as a walk in the park, but then checking his card activity on CitiCards.com using the open sauce browser was, well, as hard as a stone.

These complaints about Citibank are nothing new by the way. Here is one other rant from last year.

I hope they hear from enough people to take note. I think the Americans with Disabilities Act may be a powerful argument in favor of making web sites more standards compliant and accessible.

For its Web site, Citigroup deploys Solaris (UNIX), so it seems unwilling to run Windows on the server, yet it conveniently requires that customers do so on the desktop. Given the horrifying statistics which claim that one in two (Windows) PCs is a zombie, it’s a gamble, a Russian roulette. As Geer put it, “in zombie we trust.” What is Citigroup thinking?

Windows in ATMs

Citibank is in no position to brag about security. Here is a recent incident:

The alleged thieves made off with about $2 million between October 2007 until March of this year. Officials believe they remotely broke into the back-end computers that approve cash withdrawals and grabbed the PINs as they were being transmitted from the ATMs to the transaction processing computers, which increasingly use Windows, the report says.

From the comments:

Windows should not be used, nor shout OS X or Linux if it is running a GUI. While Windows can not be striped to a secure level and OS X is a bit of a challenge, Linux is very easy to run with a very minimalistic build.

Check out the NSA version of Linux.

Those PIN hacks seem reminiscent of the disaster which is Windows on ATMs. Here are some references that are relevant:

1. Windows-based cash machines ‘easily hacked’

ATMs, or automated teller machines, today face the Internet-born threat of worms and denial-of-service attacks, as well as being at risk from malicious applications that can harvest customer data or hijack machines.

2. Madness: ATMs Running Windows XP?

3. Pictures of ATM Machine Running Windows XP Crashing

The other day I pulled up to an ATM and it was in the middle of crashing and so I was able to shoot these pics during the crash and reboot. The ATM never did come up fully so I was unable to get some cash.

4. ATM using un-activated Windows

Ok, so lets be realistic for a moment here, first off, is ‘Hackers Best Friend” MS Windows really the optimal choice for an operating system that spits out cash?

5. ATM with Pirated Windows

In Russian you can sometimes meet pirated copy of Windows even on ATM. It warns that this copy of Windows need activation and the work of ATM gets interrupted.

6. Why not Embedded? ATM’s Running XP Professional…

This time, I happened to be there when it suddenly BSOD’d and began a reboot cycle. Obviously, to BSOD it needs to run Windows, and moments later, that was confirmed. But that’s not the story here — believe it or not, most ATMs run Windows nowadays, and there’s absoloutely nothing wrong with that.

[...]

There’s a million reasons why an ATM should must be RTOS, be it Linux or VxWorks or Windows CE, but even if you don’t go with RTOS, Windows XP Professional most certainly isn’t the answer. Especially if it’s not even SP2.

7. ATMs hacked using MP3 player

A criminal gang in the U.K. was able to steal confidential banking data by bugging ATMs with an MP3 player, The Times of London reported in its online edition Thursday.

Only Windows seems to reinterpret device insertion as a call for execution of arbitrary and untrusted contents. NASA recently saw its laptops out in space getting infected in this way (computer viruses passing via USB drives in Windows). With that in mind, how can Citigroup promote Windows for security reasons? Brazil seems to have stepped up to the plate and voted for change.

Brazilian banking giant Banco do Brasil this year is preparing to start a massive migration of one of the world’s biggest ATM fleets to the GNU/Linux operating system.

This is one among many migrations to GNU/Linux in Brazil. It includes hundreds of thousands of voting machine, so no wonder Microsoft is scared and resorting to FUD over there [1, 2].

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Shannon VanWagner said,

    September 3, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Here’s the message I sent to them via their Contact Us link at: http://www.citi.com/domain/contact/index.htm

    Hi there. I see that your website discriminates by Operating System. I am using Ubuntu GNU/Linux with Firefox 3 browser and your website tells me I am not “able to take full advantage” of your citibank website.

    I’m not sure why you chose to do this as Firefox 3 adheres completely to Open Web Standards and the GNU/Linux operating system is just as secure as any.

    So as a person who will now NOT be setting up a citibank account, I will also get on to telling everyone I know that your company supports the Microsoft Monopoly with Windows and Internet Explorer.

    Should you ever decide that realize that, 1.) America is a free country, 2.) Monopoly is illegal, 3.) that Open Web standards are better than closed ones, and 4.) to update your website to work with any open web standards compliant internet browsers, perhaps you can let me know so I can stop making a bad name for your online account access capabilities.

    Until then, you can kindly kiss my browser stamp.

    Good day.

    Shannon VanWagner

  2. Yfrwlf said,

    September 3, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Gravatar

    I use Wamu (Washington Mutual) here in the U.S., and their website I believe is 100% web standards compliant. I spoke with them before opening my account with them, and they ensured me that Firefox was fully supported as well as any web standard compliant browser, and three banking staffers there told me they all used Firefox for their web browser. I have had no problems whatsoever using their website, everything works flawlessly and it has the freshest and cleanest website layouts and designs (using plenty of CSS) that I’ve ever seen for a banking website, of which I’ve used dozens.

    I highly recommend them, and highly recommend staying away from any websites which are anti-web-standards. That includes Progressive, by the way, which blocked me from being able to sign required forms online because I wasn’t using IE, so I switched to Geico. (Sad to have to pay any insurance company though as I believe it’s a racket and that any property damage should always be dealt with through the police/court system.)

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/5/2017: New RHEL Beta, SteamOS Updated

    Links for the day



  2. Great News: While IBM et al Try to Undermine Patent Reform the Supreme Court Deepens the Reform in TC Heartland Case

    In a unanimous decision, with the court ruling 8-0 against TC Heartland, the monkey business in East Texas (beneficial to patent trolls and large businesses that leverage software patents) may have just come to an end



  3. Speculations About Battistelli's End of Term, Campinos at EUIPO, and Failed UPC Ambitions

    Rumours and speculations surrounding the fate of the EPO's leadership now that the UPC gravy train is stuck again and Battistelli's protector, Jesper Kongstad, is about to leave



  4. Martijn van Dam is Wrong to Believe That Battistelli's Abuses Are Somehow Acceptable or Tolerable Because His Term is Possibly Ending

    Coverage of Martijn van Dam’s stance (he is the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs) reveals that economic gain trumps ethics and justice, irrespective of what the law says



  5. Media and Staff Association Elections at EPO and WIPO Are Compromised

    A campaign of abuse (legal bullying) and gifting to the media, combined with a wide-ranging assault on critics who represent the interests of staff, have led WIPO and EPO down the route to totality



  6. New Documents Help Demonstrate That ILO Delivers Institutional Injustice to EPO Employees and Cushions Team Battistelli

    The International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) delivers not justice but merely the illusion of justice, probably in defiance of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)



  7. Leaked: 2017 European Inventor Award Finalists, or Stooges Whom the Tyrant Battistelli Exploits for PR Purposes and Media Manipulation

    The stupidest ceremony in Europe (turning serious science into something sketchy such as Eurovision) is disliked among EPO staff and is exploited by the person who destroys the EPO (Benoît Battistelli) to pretend all is fine and dandy, at huge expense to the Office (as extraordinary as about 5 million Euros for a ~2-hour show)



  8. EPO: Can the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) Still Save It?

    Genuine concerns about the slow process at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the lack of progress at ILO, which coincide with weakening of the unions and threat to jobs of patent examiners (leaving ordinary Europeans more vulnerable to meritless patent lawsuits)



  9. Links 21/5/2017: Linux 3.18.53, Tizen 4.0

    Links for the day



  10. Cloudflare's Enemy is Software Patents, Not Just One Software Patent or One Patent Troll

    With a bounty of $50,000, which is likely less than the cost of legal defense, Cloudflare looks for help with its own case rather than the underlying issues that need tackling worldwide



  11. Patent Laws -- and Especially Eligibility of Software Patents -- Are Being Hijacked by Large Corporations and Their Front Groups

    Intervention by large multinational corporations and their lawyers, front groups, etc. (like the classic lobbying model) gives room for concern in multiple continents where most software development is done



  12. Links 18/5/2017: Catching Up With the Past Three Days

    Links for the day



  13. The US Supreme Court Consults USPTO Director Michelle Lee Regarding the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Which is Invalidating Software Patents With CAFC's Approval

    Software patents continue to get knocked out by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) whose introduction of PTAB gave a helping hand to companies that are susceptible to abusive litigation (with bogus patents)



  14. IBM and Its Revolving Doors Lobby Are Plotting to Undermine Supreme Court Rulings to Restore Patentability of Software

    IBM has become so evil that it is now trying to steal democracy, label programmers "thieves", and basically attack the rule of law by extra-judicially overturning a Supreme Court decision



  15. 3 Years After the Alice Case at the Supreme Court the Plague of Software Patents is Easier to Cope With

    Litigation figures are down, rejection rates of software patents remain high, and only spin (e.g. cherry-picking) or constant lobbying can save those who used to profit from software patents



  16. The Attacks of Patent Trolls as Outlined in the Media This Past Week

    An outline of some of the latest troll cases to be aware of and their consequences too (e.g. software patents being used to literally shut down entire programs)



  17. Links 14/5/2017: Linux 4.12 RC1 and KDE Frameworks 5.34.0

    Links for the day



  18. Industry Giants Challenge Qualcomm's Patent Practices While the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Closely Examines Such Behavior

    Scrutiny of Qualcomm's patent aggression and coercion -- scrutiny that can profoundly change the way software patents, SEPs and FRAND are viewed -- as seen in various amicus briefs (amici) from industry giants that are affected



  19. Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette Questions Whether Patents Work When Patent Scope is Too Broad

    Citing MIT economist (and MacArthur “genius”) Heidi Williams, Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette from Stanford challenges old myths and quotes: “we still have essentially no credible empirical evidence on the seemingly simple question of whether stronger patent rights—either longer patent terms or broader patent rights—encourage research investments.”



  20. OIN is Still a Distraction Unless We Want GNU/Linux to Coexist With Software Patents (Rather Than Eliminate Those)

    Another wave of media coverage by/for the Open Invention Network (OIN) necessitates a reminder of what OIN stands for and why it is not tackling the biggest problems which Free/Open Source software (FOSS) faces



  21. Links 13/5/2017: Neptune Plasma 5 ISO, a Shift to Free (FOSS) Databases

    Links for the day



  22. Countries With a Dozen European Patents Are an Easy Photo-Op 'Sell' for Battistelli While the EPO's Demise is Largely Ignored by the Patent Microcosm

    Behind the façade of legitimacy, the EPO suffers from an incompetent, insecure and delusional boss, whose actions will almost certainly lead to the collapse of both the Office and the entire Organisation (whose founding document he routinely shreds to pieces)



  23. Our Assessment: Unitary Patent (UPC) Will Crumble Along With Battistelli's Regime at the EPO

    A reflection and an opinion on where the EPO stands and what it means for the UPC, which doesn't seem to be going anywhere (it's all talk and lobbying)



  24. The European Patent Office Has a Long History/Track Record of 'Screwing' Contractors

    The European Patent Office (EPO) appears to have quite an extensive track record/reputation for ‘screwing’ contractors and then misusing immunity to get away with it



  25. Links 12/5/2017: Wine 2.8, Kdenlive 17.04.1, NHS Windows Syndrome

    Links for the day



  26. Links 11/5/2017: New OpenShot, GIMP, and GNOME (3.24.2)

    Links for the day



  27. The Sickness of the EPO – Part IX: Using Confidential Medical Records as a Weapon Against Staff

    In defiance/violation of labour laws and medical oaths etc. the EPO is passing around medical information, either for dismissal pretexts or a sort of blackmail -- a serious abuse in its own right



  28. The EPO is in Disarray and Additional Complaints to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) May Be Imminent

    Team Battistelli reaps what it has sown, as complaints are being made to a court with “47 member states [that] are contracting parties to the Convention,” (European Convention on Human Rights) according to Wikipedia



  29. By Promoting the UPC, in Defiance of Public Will, the EPO Has Become Patent Trolls' Best Friend

    The patent–industrial complex, aided by the EPO under Battistelli's iron-fisted reign, is trying to convince us that the UPC is coming soon and that it is desirable (it's neither of those things)



  30. Links 10/5/2017: Mesa 17.1, Git 2.13, Qt Creator 4.3 RC1, MINIX 3.4 RC6

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts