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2012 May 28 09:01

Reasons to Avoid Microsoft


[Bug] [Education] [Government] [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [Security Hole] [MSN Hotmail] [MS Internet Explorer] [MS IIS Webserver] [MSN Instant Messenger] [License] [Linux/Open Source] [Monopoly] [MS Outlook] [Piracy] [Privacy] [Virus/Worm] [MS XBox] [MS Windows XP] [WOW!]

These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.

  • Flame: 'Most complex' cyber-attack ever discovered (ZDNet, 2012.05.28)
    [Virus/Worm] [Government] A new 'data-vacuuming' piece of malware, which has targeted a number of Middle Eastern countries including Israel and Iran, has been discovered, which could mark the trilogy in advanced cyber-weapons after Stuxnet and Duqu. Kaspersky researchers said they believe 'Flame' is greater in scale than its apparent infamous counterparts Stuxnet and Duqu, and has been described as the 'most complex threat' ever discovered. ... Flame has the components a Trojan, a backdoor, and a worm, and is designed to attack Windows machines. It is also self-replication over local area networks though the entry point is currently unknown. Researchers are unaware as to how Flame enters networks, but have identified a Windows zero-day vulnerability which allows the remote code execuition of a core system file. ... Flame sniffs network traffic and has the ability to take screenshots, record conversations by microphone-enabled PCs, and intercepts all input data and so forth.

  • Microsoft: Conficker still the top corporate network threat (NetworkWorld, 2012.02.25)
    [Virus/Worm] Companies are still plagued by the Conficker worm, used to create botnets and spread other forms of malware, according to the latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report.

  • NSW ambulance computers coming back online (TechWorld, 2011.02.14)
    [Virus/Worm] Computers which co-ordinate NSW's ambulances are back online in three of the state's regions after a major virus forced staff to shut them down for more than 24 hours. The virus crept into the Ambulance Service of NSW's dispatch system at 1pm (AEDT) on Saturday, prompting staff to co-ordinate paramedics by telephone and handwritten notes.

  • Netflix: Why we use and contribute to open source software (Netflix Tech Blog, 2010.12.10)
    [Linux/Open Source] Our budget, measured in dollars, time, people, and energy, is limited and we must therefore focus our technology development efforts on that streaming video software that clearly differentiates Netflix and creates delight for our customers. These limits require that we stand on the shoulders of giants who have solved technology challenges shared in common by all companies that operate at Internet scale. ... We do utilize some commercial software but there is often the alternative choice of utilizing open source software, preferably open source software that implements an open standard. ... he great thing about a good open source project that solves a shared challenge is that it develops it's own momentum and it is sustained for a long time by a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement. At Netflix we jumped on for the ride a long time ago and we have benefited enormously from the virtuous cycles of actively evolving open source projects. We benefit from the continuous improvements provided by the community of contributors outside of Netflix. We also benefit by contributing back the changes we make to the projects. By sharing our bug fixes and new features back out into the community, the community then in turn continues to improve upon bug fixes and new features that originated at Netflix and then we complete the cycle by bring those improvements back into Netflix.

  • Microsoft IE Flaw Exploited by Hackers to Steal Info From Google (Dailytech.com, 2010.01.15)
    [MS Internet Explorer] [Security Hole] [Privacy] In this case the flaw wasn't overly severe, but the attackers were unusually sophisticated and struck out at businesses, looking to steal their data. Writes Dmitri Alperovitch, a vice president of research with McAfee, 'We have never seen attacks of this sophistication in the commercial space. We have previously only seen them in the government space.'

  • Office of the State [of California] CIO IT Policy Letter: Open Source Software Policy (California Office of the State Chief Information Officer, 2010.01.07)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The purpose of this Information Technology Policy Letter (ITPL) is to: Formally establish the use of Open Source Software (OSS) in California state government as an acceptable practice ... This policy provides guidance on the use of Open Source Software (OSS) ... The OCIO permits the use of OSS.

  • Office 2003 Rights Management Bug Locks up Files (Technologizer, 2009.12.11)
    [Bug] It's a nightmare scenario: Imagine coming into the office and not being able to access any of your organization's vital documents. That scenario became reality today for an untold number of Microsoft Office 2003 customers who use Microsoft's Rights Management Service (RMS), a technology for controlling access to documents.

  • French army sides with Mozilla in Microsoft email war (Reuters, 2009.12.10)
    [MS Outlook] [Government] [Linux/Open Source] A new email client unveiled by Mozilla this week contains code from an unusual source -- the French military, which decided the open source product was more secure than Microsoft's rival Outlook. ... France's military chose open source software after an internal government debate [...] culminated in a [...] directive requiring state agencies 'Seek maximum technological and commercial independence.' ... The French government is beginning to move to other open source software, including Linux instead of Windows and OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office.

  • New Attack Fells Internet Explorer (Network World, 2009.11.23)
    [Security Hole] A hacker has posted attack code that could be used to break into a PC running older versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. ... Security consultancy Vupen Security has also confirmed that the attack works, saying it worked on a Windows XP Service Pack 3 system running IE 6 or IE7. Neither company was able to confirm that the attack worked on Microsoft's latest browser, IE 8. ... Together, IE 6 and IE 7 command close to 40 percent of the browser market.

  • Major IE8 flaw makes 'safe' sites unsafe (The Register, 2009.11.20)
    [Security Hole] [MS Internet Explorer] [WOW!] The latest version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser contains a bug that can enable serious security attacks against websites that are otherwise safe. The flaw in IE 8 can be exploited to introduce XSS, or cross-site scripting, errors on webpages that are otherwise safe... Ironically, the flaw resides in a protection added by Microsoft developers to IE 8 that's designed to prevent XSS attacks against sites.

  • After one year, Conficker infects 7 million computers (Network World, 2009.10.30)
    [Virus/Worm] [WOW!] Conficker first caught the attention of security experts in November 2008 and received widespread media attention in early 2009. It has proved remarkably resilient and adept at re-infecting systems even after being removed.

  • New [US Department of Defense] Memo on Open Source Software (Slashdot.org, 2009.10.28)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] 'Misconceptions and misinterpretations... have hampered effective DoD use and development of OSS.' The new memo tries to counter those misconceptions and misinterpretations, and is very positive about OSS. In particular, it lists a number of potential advantages of OSS, and recommends that in certain cases the DoD release software as OSS.

  • IBM and Ubuntu roll Linux for U.S desktops vs Windows 7 (InternetNews Blogs, 2009.10.20)
    [Linux/Open Source] IBM and Canonical are now announcing the launch of Linux and cloud-based desktop software in the U.S. The effort was originally announced more than a year ago, in August of 2008 as the Microsoft-Free PC effort. The basic idea is to have an Linux OS, with IBM smart client applications called Open Collaboration Client Solution software (OCCS) (Lotus Symphony and Notes) for enterprise apps.

  • EvriChart: A Linux Success Story (ZDNet Blogs, 2009.10.20)
    [Linux/Open Source] Tony Maro, CIO of EvriChart, a hospital records management and archiving business, successfully migrated his company's Windows-based line of business document management extranet application and his employees' 40-odd Windows-based desktops to a 100 percent Linux-based server and desktop infrastructure.

  • Sneaky Microsoft Add-On Put Firefox Users At Risk (Slashdot.org, 2009.10.16)
    [Security Hole] [T]he 'Windows Presentation Foundation' plugin that Microsoft slipped into Firefox last February apparently left the popular browser open to attack. ... once installed, the .NET add-on was virtually impossible to remove from Firefox. The usual 'Disable' and 'Uninstall' buttons in Firefox's add-on list were grayed out on all versions of Windows except Windows 7... Several sites posted complicated directions on how to scrub the .NET add-on...

  • [Ontario] researchers tout cheap eHealth alternative (CBC News, 2009.10.09)
    [Linux/Open Source] Researchers at Hamilton's McMaster University say they have devised an electronic medical records system that can be implemented by physicians across Ontario for two per cent of the money the provincial government has spent on eHealth Ontario. [...] Around 600 doctors across the country -- including 450 family physicians in Ontario -- currently use the software. The software is open-source, which means users are allowed access to its basic code. Users are free to add to or modify the software without fear of legal repercussions... Because it's open-source, OSCAR is free. The costs to set it up come in the form of servers, hardware and support staff. [...] [In] a report released Wednesday, Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter said the province had wasted [a $1 billion investment] and eHealth had little to show for its work.

  • Hidden Fees Discovered for "Free" Windows 7 Upgrades (Mouse Print, 2009.10.01)
    [License] Since June 26, retailers and computer manufacturers have urged shoppers to buy computers already on store shelves loaded with the much-maligned Windows Vista operating system because they would qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it was released in October. As it turns out... some computer purchasers will be asked to pay shipping, handling and other junk fees that total between $11 and $17 to receive their "free" upgrade [discs].

  • IBM Throws Out Microsoft Office (Linux Magazine, 2009.09.12)
    [Linux/Open Source] 360,000 IBM workers have been told to stop using Microsoft Office and switch to the Open Office-based software Symphony. ... IBM's management have obviously decided to practice what they preach. 330,000 IBM workers already use Symphony...

  • Microsoft Acknowledges Linux threat to Windows client (Good Gear, 2009.08.05)
    [Linux/Open Source] The move is an acknowledgment of the first viable competition from Linux to Microsoft's Windows client business, due mainly to the use of Linux on netbooks, which are rising in prominence as alternatives to full-sized notebooks.

  • Attacks Against Unpatched Microsoft Bug Multiply (Slashdot.org, 2009.07.14)
    [Security Hole] Attacks exploiting the latest Microsoft vulnerability are quickly ramping up in quantity and intensity, several security companies warned today as they rang alarms about the developing threat.

  • Most Companies Won't Deploy Windows 7 -- Survey (Slashdot.org, 2009.07.13)
    [MS Windows XP] [] Nearly six in 10 companies have no current plans to deploy Windows 7 by the end of next year, according to a new survey.

  • U.S. Postal Service Gives Stamp of Approval To FOSS [Free and Open Source Software] (OStatic, 2009.07.10)
    [Government] [Linux/Open Source] The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has switched 1,300 of the servers that manage its package tracking system to a Linux environment. The move has taken the better part of a year since all the original system code was written in Cobol and had to be converted for Linux -- a less expensive option than rewriting it altogether.

  • Federal Web sites knocked out by cyber attack (Associated Press, 2009.07.08)
    [Government] [Security Hole] A widespread and unusually resilient computer attack that began July 4 knocked out the Web sites of several government agencies, including some that are responsible for fighting cyber crime [...] Denial of service attacks against Web sites are not uncommon, and are usually caused when sites are deluged with Internet traffic so as to effectively take them off-line. Mounting such an attack can be relatively easy using widely available hacking programs, and they can be made far more serious if hackers infect and use thousands of computers tied together into "botnets."

  • PC Invader Costs Kentucky County $415,000 (The Washington Post, 2009.07.07)
    [Government] [Security Hole] Cyber criminals based in Ukraine stole $415,000 from the coffers of Bullitt County, Kentucky this week. The crooks were aided by more than two dozen co-conspirators in the United States, as well as a strain of malicious software capable of defeating online security measures put in place by many banks. [...] the unauthorized transfers appear to have been driven by "some kind computer virus." ... the criminals stole the money using a custom variant of a keystroke logging Trojan [...] [An] interesting feature of this malware... is that it creates a direct connection between the infected Microsoft Windows system and the attackers, allowing the bad guys to log in to the victim's bank account using the victim's own Internet connection.


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Collection originally created by, donated to LUGOD by, and maintained by Bill Kendrick.

Microsoft, Internet Explorer, Outlook, IIS, XP, XBox, etc. are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft.
Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.
Most category icons created by Bill Kendrick.


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