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 27/4/2015: Debian 9 Named, Linux 4.1 Reaches RC

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft is Interjecting Itself Into GNU/Linux and Free Software News, Even Events and Foundations

    Microsoft's entryism strategy is proving effective as Microsoft successfully embeds itself inside the idealogical competition, subverting the competition's overall message and diluting the competition's focus on Free software



  3. The Unethical Business of Selling Fear of Free/Libre Software Bugs (Black Duck, Sonatype, and Symantec)

    The spreading of fear of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is now a growth industry, so proprietary opportunists are eager to capitalise on it, even if by distorting the truth



  4. Patients' Data at Risk as NHS Reinforces Its Microsoft/Accenture Stockholm Syndrome

    The worst privacy violator in the world and the firm behind LSE failures are pocketing as much as £0.35 billion of British taxpayers' money to acquire access to very sensitive data of British people



  5. Links 26/4/2015: Debian 8, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Alpha, Mageia 5 RC

    Links for the day



  6. Links 25/4/2015: Debian LTS Plans, Turing Phone Runs Linux

    Links for the day



  7. Who Kills Yahoo? It's Microsoft, Not Yahoo!

    The media should blame Microsoft, not Marissa Mayer, for what's going on (and has been going on for 7 years) at Yahoo!



  8. EPO Management is Trying Hard to Appease Its Critics While Pushing Forth Unitary Patent Agenda

    The European Patent Office and European Commission promote the agenda of large multinational corporations (at the expense or European citizens) and critics are being kept at bay



  9. Real Patent Reform Will Not Come From Biggest Backers of GNU/Linux, Not Even Google

    A look at the 'new' Google, the company which is hoarding patents (2,566 last year alone) instead of fighting for reform



  10. Microsoft's Troll Intellectual Ventures Loses Software Patents

    Intellectual Ventures is bluffing with software patents, but this time around it doesn't get its way



  11. Links 24/4/2015: Ubuntu and Variants in the News, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1

    Links for the day



  12. Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

    Links for the day



  13. Links 22/4/2015: Fedora 22 Beta, Atlassian Acquires BlueJimp

    Links for the day



  14. The Dying Debate Over Patent Scope (Including Software Patents) Replaced by 'Trolls' (But Not the Biggest Ones)

    The corporate media and Web sites or people who are funded by large corporations have essentially suppressed any debate about issues in the patent granting process, thereby guarding software patents and preventing criticism of large corporations' power grab



  15. The Patents Gold Rush Continues

    The morbid obsession with monopolising mere ideas still dominates the media, even increasingly in China



  16. 9 Millionth US Patent Tells a Story of Failure and USPTO Misconduct

    The USPTO, much like FISA (notorious court for surveillance/espionage authorisation), has become a rubber-stamping operation rather than a patents examination centre, as new evidence and old evidence serve to show



  17. HBO Helps Shift Debate Over Patents to 'Trolls' (Scale), Not Scope

    More of that awkward shifting of the patent debate towards small actors who are misusing patents, not large conglomerates like Apple and Microsoft which use patents to destroy competitors, crush startups, drive up prices, and so on



  18. Software Patents Are Still Menacing to Free Software: OIN Expands Scope, HEVC Adds to MPEG-LA Burden/Tax, Google and Facebook Give in on Patents

    A look at recent news about software patents and especially Free/libre software, which is inherently incompatible with them



  19. The Latest Developments Around Microsoft's Clever Attack on Android/Linux

    Microsoft's campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports



  20. The Microsoft 'Community' is Maligning the Free Software Community

    Dishonest generalisations and baseless deductions portray the Free/Open Source software communities as a nasty place that leads to poverty and despair



  21. Googlebombing 'Microsoft Open Source' Even When Microsoft Shuts Down Its 'Open Source' Proxy

    A massive failure by the press to cover the most basic news, which is Microsoft putting an end to a supposedly 'Open Source' effort



  22. Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

    Links for the day



  23. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

    Links for the day



  24. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  25. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  26. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

    Poor fact-checking by relatively large media/news sites results in Microsoft's patently false claims being repeated uncritically



  27. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  28. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  30. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available


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