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

01.26.10

Australia May Ban Infected Windows PCs; Nearly Half of Europe No Longer Uses Internet Explorer

Posted in Australia, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Windows at 9:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The security trouble caused by Microsoft’s software leads to more serious action even at national levels

FOUR months ago it was reported that Australian ISPs may kick Windows PCs which are zombies out of the Internet. That would be a huge number of PCs. The Australian has this new report on the same subject. [via]

COMPUTERS infected with viruses could be “expelled” from the internet under a new industry code to control Australia’s plague of contaminated PCs.

The federal government has given the internet industry an operate-or-legislate ultimatum to identify “zombie” computers involved in cyber-crime.

The Internet Industry Association – whose members include major internet service providers Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, AAPT, Virgin and Hutchison 3G, as well as industry giants Facebook, Google and Microsoft – is preparing a voluntary industry code to come into force this year.

The move follows industry intelligence that Australia now hosts the world’s third-highest number of “zombie” computers infected with malicious software that can attack other PCs, send spam, store child pornography or steal the user’s identity.

“Australian ISPs are making plans to disconnect one third to half of all their Windows users,” is how one of our readers put it. “Pathetic, though, how the editorial staff of the newspaper spin the problem by falsely implying that it is a ‘computer’ problem and not a Microsoft problem.”

IDG has this new article about botnets and it also ‘forgets’ to mention Windows. Why is that?

I caught up recently with Roland Dobbins, a solutions architect with the Asia Pacific division of Arbor Networks, a company that specializes in helping customers defend against botnet attacks. Dobbins said the Google incident a perfect example of how the botnet has enabled what he calls the democratization of espionage.

They do not mention the crucial fact that these botnets run Windows and as the recent Internet Explorer fiasco [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] ought to have taught, Microsoft is to blame for it. It ignored critical flaws for many months, as usual (until attacks on users became too much of a problem).

Internet Explorer is already vulnerable again and Christopher Smart refutes Microsoft’s lies about other Web browsers being equally vulnerable.

With all this Internet Explorer insecurity issues coming to light, a common argument is:

“All browsers are insecure, just practice safer browsing by not clicking on links in unsolicited mail.”

Sure, that’s a important part of being safe on the net, but it’s only half of the picture. Of course all browsers will have security holes at particular points in time, no software is perfect.

However, what we should be looking at is a vendor’s response to security vulnerabilities. It’s how quickly a vendor can patch a hole and distribute the fix which is most important. (Of course, security by design and underlying operating system are also important factors.)

DaniWeb asks: “Time to dump Internet Explorer for something safer?”

Time to dump Internet Explorer for something safer?

?

Another day, another IE flaw! Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the Internet Explorer water (mainly as Microsoft told you it was after releasing yet another patch to fix yet another vulnerability) comes the news that actually, would you believe it, but Internet Explorer still isn’t safe.

Hopefully — just hopefully — the market will sort itself out. In Europe, where warnings were issued against the use of Internet Explorer*, Internet Explorer loses market rapidly:

According to data released by the AT Internet Institute, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has fallen to under 60% of visits in Europe. The firm suggests that with widely publicized news of a major security flaw and moves being made by competing browsers, IE’s fall may not be reversed in the very near future.

Internet Explorer is not just a Web browser. It is Microsoft’s attempt to control and to change the Internet for its own benefit. Microsoft uses the Internet to suppress adoption of GNU/Linux, BSD, and Mac OS X through all sorts of proprietary extensions that make Web sites and Web applications inaccessible to non-Microsoft customers.

Here is fruit for thought:

Life after Windows: What happens to tech if Microsoft dies

[...]

Client applications: Kiss consistency good-bye The client application landscape will be almost unrecognizable in a post-Microsoft world. The deprecation of the legacy Windows API, coupled with the move to an entirely Web-based delivery model, will open the floodgates of innovation — and create massive headaches for support personnel, who must now contend with the rich variety of UI designs and implementations that define the Web application experience.

It is hypothetical, but no monopoly lasts forever; Microsoft too will be just part of the past some day.
____
* Internet Explorer was also slammed by the Australian government (and New Zealand) after Germany and France had made the call.

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

4 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 26, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Gravatar

    Didn’t the late Ed Foster have a lot to say about getting rid of MSIE and MS Outlook? If I remember correctly some of the first calls about dropping both came when the ‘products’ were very new to the market and were obviously falling on their faces.

    His consumer rights work was a constant thumb in the eye for Microsoft and even after getting let go from the Microsoft sponsored magazines, he kept at it on his own site until his unexpected demise.

    I can find his obit, but not his work from 1999 and 2000.

    http://www.infoworld.com/d/adventures-in-it/in-memoriam-ed-foster-539

    http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/07/memoriam-ed-foster-1949-2008

  2. Dennis Murczak said,

    January 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Well, I found the “Life after Windows” article not so enlightening… the author seems to think everyone will fall over each other in anarchy and slaughter their pets if they can’t have any more Windows.

    In reality, it will be (better: already is) a steady shift away from legacy desktop-only technology. That’s where the industry heads, regardless of Microsoft hanging kicking and screaming at their coat-tails.

  3. your_friend said,

    January 27, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Gravatar

    No consistency without Microsoft? Nonsense! The basics of Unix have not changed much and free software implementations offer great simplification and user ease. Better yet, the Unix implementations have just worked and not needed “support”. In the same time period Microsoft has gone through the most contorted UI changes from Windows 1 to Windows 7, each step had multiple, inconsistent branches and all of them have been a support nightmare. Reading a script for Microsoft Outlook button pushing has never been adequate support for users. It would always have taken less time and been easier on everyone to relay the four or five pieces of standardized knowledge instead. Microsoft’s interfaces have intentionally hidden knowledge all along, it’s key to keeping users helpless and divided.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 27, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Gravatar

    @Dennis

    That article was from a “Windows guy”, so he’s just defending his territory.

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Crowd Rocks the Media With Misleading Claims and Deliberate Lies About GNU/Linux, Vista 10, and Free/Open Source Software

    A roundup of rigged press coverage, intended purely to serve Microsoft's agenda



  2. Links 31/8/2015: Linux 4.2, LXLE 14.04.3

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: August 9th, 2015 – August 29th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  4. “Conservative” Site Responds (Yet Again) to Misguided “Conservative” Efforts to Derail Patent Reform in the US

    Patent trolls throw stones in glass houses, contributing to their own unpopularity, but some influential “Conservatives” continue to defend (conserve) them



  5. Increase in Lobbying for Software Patents in Europe and Its Trojan Horse, the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The relentless campaigns to bring software patents into Europe have not stopped and so-called 'unification' -- much like so-called 'trade' deals -- serves to support them



  6. Microsoft Technology Crashes Financial Markets, Again

    SunGard, which is a Microsoft shop, is clearly failing to provide what it calls mission-ciriticaal [sic] solutions



  7. Alice v. CLS Bank (Alice/§101) Comes to Squash Software Patents Even in Eastern District of Texas

    The crackdown on software patents is coming along nicely and the Alice case is now being utilised even in the capital of patent trolls



  8. Apple's Patent Cases Against Android Are Falling Apart, as Acknowledged Even by the Anti-Android Lobby





  9. Links 29/8/2015: NetworkManager 1.0.6, Systemd Merges “su” Command Replacement

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft Loves Linux to Death and Still Tries to Kill GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of 'love' remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)



  11. Censorship, Self-Censorship and Intimidation Now the Modus Operandi at EPO

    The European Patent Office has ceased even trying to pretend that it respects human rights, including the right to free speech



  12. Patent Practitioners: "The Unitary Patent Might be Able to Open the Floodgates for Software Patents in Europe"

    The EPO-backed Unitary Patent scheme threatens to bring software patents to Europe and along with them a lot of patent trolls from all around the world (especially the United States)



  13. Microsoft Lies About Vista 10 and Increases Microsoft Surveillance (Even Beyond Vista 10 and Into Android, Vista 7/8)

    Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10



  14. Another Suicide at the EPO, Fifth by Our Count

    Yet another EPO member of staff has just committed suicide, leading to the inevitable question: how many people need to die before Battistelli and his minions are out of the Office for good?



  15. Links 27/8/2015: ownCloud Desktop Client 2.0, Red Hat Downgraded

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

    Hiding behind a misleading 'open' label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers



  17. Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10's Failure

    A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)



  18. Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

    Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received



  19. Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

    Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release



  20. When Microsoft, the Master of Patent Trolls, Complains About Trolls

    Possibly the world's biggest patent abuser and monopolist, which also creates many patent trolls (including by far the biggest one), takes on a far smaller abuser in Court



  21. Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

    Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software



  22. Links 25/8/2015: Linux Kernel 4.2 Final RC, KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.0

    Links for the day



  23. Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl Should Take Note as Russia -- Like China -- is in the Process of Banning Microsoft Windows for Security Reasons

    A look at a strange suggestion, signed by Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl, who suggest going back to Microsoft which is basically a spyware company now



  24. Microsoft Windows Leads to Espionage and Blackmail: Latest Examples

    Another news overview, detailing high-profile examples of high-cost Windows deployments (including the cost of litigation and settlement)



  25. Links 23/8/2015: BcacheFS Benchmarks, Blackphone 2

    Links for the day



  26. Links 22/8/2015: Chromebook Gains, GNOME 3.18 Clues

    Links for the day



  27. Alice v. CLS Bank (the Alice Case/§101) Continues to Crush Software Patents in the United States

    Patent scope in the United States continues to be narrowed down as more software patents get their wings clipped



  28. Company of Hype and 'Fanbois' Continues Its Patent Attacks on Android/Linux

    Apple's attacks on Android (using bogus patents) may be soon be escalated to the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)



  29. EPO Corruption of Patent Boundaries: Business Methods and Algorithms Patented

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) not only turns a blind eye to European law while patenting or granting patents on software but also openly advocates this now



  30. Who's Obsessing Over Patent Trolls in Latest 'Reform' Efforts? Larger Patent Trolls Such as Xerox

    Response to claims that the patent problem is being tackled by focusing on patent trolls and their favourite courts in the Eastern District of Texas


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