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. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    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