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

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  • Internet Explorer carved up by zero-day hole (Computerworld, 2004.06.09)
    [Security Hole] [MS Internet Explorer] [WOW!] Two new vulnerabilities have been discovered in Internet Explorer which allow a complete bypass of security and provide system access to a computer, including the installation of files on someone's hard disk without their knowledge, through a single click. Worse, the holes have been discovered from analysis of an existing link on the Internet and a fully functional demonstration of the exploit have been produced and been shown to affect even fully patched versions of Explorer. ...finally [another part of the attack takes advantage of] an exploit that Microsoft Corp. has been aware of since August 2003 but hasn't patched.

  • Zombie PCs spew out 80% of spam (The Register, 2004.06.04)
    [Security Hole] [WOW!] Four-fifths of spam now emanates from computers contaminated with Trojan horse infections... Trojans and worms with backdoor components such as Migmaf and SoBig have turned infected Windows PCs into drones in vast networks of compromised zombie PCs. Instead of using open mail relays or unscrupulous hosts (so-called 'bullet-proof' hosting - in reality, ISPs in developing countries who pull the plug on spammers when enough complaints are received by their upstream provider), spammers are using compromised machines to get their junk mail out. Many security firms reckons many of the most well-publicized worm attacks in recent months (such as MyDoom and Bagle) were launched expressly to install spam Trojans on unsuspecting end users' machines - waiting to be utilized later as a spam delivery relay.

  • New virus reads keys you type (OverclockersClub, 2004.06.04)
    [Virus/Worm] [Privacy] [WOW!] A new virus is on the prowl that can infect your Windows XP/2K system and record every key you hit on your keyboard. The keys are then sent back to the virus creator where he/she can steal your passwords and credit card information. ... [You get the virus] without even knowing it. It does not arrive by email, but simply by being connected to a network or to the Internet...

  • Korgo-F Threat Level Heightened (eSecurityPlanet, 2004.06.02)
    [Virus/Worm] [Privacy] [WOW!] Korgo-F is a worm that attempts to propagate by exploiting a Microsoft Windows vulnerability... 'Korgo.F includes backdoor functionality that could leave systems open to unauthorized access ... This backdoor functionality could result in a loss of confidential data and may also compromise security settings.'

  • Browser Hijackers Ruining Lives (Wired News, 2004.05.11)
    [Privacy] [MS Internet Explorer] [WOW!] Browser hijackers [-- malicious programs that change browser settings, usually altering designated default start and search pages --] are doing more than just changing homepages. They are also changing some peoples' lives for the worse. [...] Traces of browsed sites can remain on computers, and it's difficult to tell from those traces whether a user willingly or mistakenly viewed a website. When those traces connect to borderline-criminal websites, people may have a hard time believing that their employee or significant other hasn't been spending an awful lot of time cruising adult sites. [...] In one case a man claims that a browser hijacker sent him to jail after compromising images of children were found on his work computer by an employer, who then reported him to law enforcement authorities.

  • Worm crashes Coastguard computers (The Independent, 2004.05.05)
    [Virus/Worm] [WOW!] Computers at the Coastguard Agency were among millions of PCs hit yesterday by a new worm that spreads over the internet. The Sasser worm, which exploits a flaw in Microsoft's Windows software, disrupted work at the Marine and Coastguard Agency, forcing staff to use pencil and paper to find ships and locate distress calls on maps.

  • PCs 'infested' with spy programs (BBC News, 2004.04.16)
    [Privacy] [WOW!] The average computer is packed with hidden software that can secretly spy on online habits... EarthLink said it uncovered an average of 28 spyware programs on each PC scanned during the first three months of [2004]. ... [System monitoring spyware] can surreptitiously watch what you do, steal personal information and despatch it across the web, while Trojans can allow malicious hackers to get access to a computer and steal information.

  • Microsoft Discloses Huge Number Of Windows Vulnerabilties (TechWeb, 2004.04.13)
    [Security Hole] [Privacy] [MS Outlook] [WOW!] The total number of vulnerabilities in the four security bulletins tallied an astounding 20 separate flaws in Windows and Outlook Express. ... Sixteen of the 20 vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely, the most dangerous type of bug because hackers can conduct an attack over the Internet. ... The most severe of the dozen-plus-two vulnerabilities -- six of the bugs are rated 'Critical' -- could allow an attacker to take complete control of an system, including installing programs, deleting data, or creating new user accounts that have full access privileges.

  • Phatbot primed to steal your credit card details (The Register, 2004.03.21)
    [Virus/Worm] [Privacy] [WOW!] A Trojan horse-type computer virus called Phatbot can steal credit card numbers and launch denial of service attacks on Web sites. ... It can steal personal information such as email addresses, credit card numbers, PayPal details and software licensing codes. It forwards this information using a peer-to-peer (P2P) network... The potential impact of Phatbot on users is much bigger than with previous worms and viruses, because it can harvest passwords, product registration codes and credit card numbers and then send this information back to the authors...

  • 'Witty' Worm Wrecks Computers (Washington Post, 2004.03.21)
    [Virus/Worm] [Security Hole] [WOW!] A quickly spreading Internet worm destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of personal computers worldwide Saturday morning by exploiting a security flaw in a firewall program designed to protect PCs from online threats... Unlike many recent worms that arrive as e-mail attachments, it spreads automatically to vulnerable computers without any action on the part of the user.

  • The Bagle Virus' Nasty Turn (The Motley Fool, 2004.03.19)
    [Virus/Worm] [MS Internet Explorer] [MS Outlook] [WOW!] Even the most casual of home PC users now understand that it's dangerous to open strange attachments they're not expecting, especially from strangers or, sometimes, even from friends who have unknowingly sent a virus. This new version of Bagle only requires a recipient to open the email or view it within the Outlook preview frame, where some invisible HTML code downloads and infects a PC through a known flaw in the Internet Explorer browser. ... [It] could signal a new trend in viruses -- executing without attachments is a smarter contagion indeed.

  • E-Card Hijack Spam (Aman Gupta's website, 2004.02.15)
    [MS Internet Explorer] [Privacy] [WOW!] The URL [victims are tricked into clicking on] does some really nasty stuff. Using iframes, object tags and javascript, it opens up several other files... The vbscript code contains strings which represent, in hex, the binary contents of a certain executable which is saved as x.exe. Once saved, this executable is launched with the url to a.exe as an argument. ... 'The file contains a number of very interesting strings, which make it quite obvious that this program attempts to hijack the user's personal login information as they log in to various popular Internet banking services.' ... If you're still using Outlook and Internet Explorer, this is a good time to find alternatives... Crackers and spammers are getting more and more sophisticated, and are finding ways to fool even experienced and skilled computer users.

  • Microsoft Warns on Windows Security Flaws (AP News, 2004.02.10)
    [Security Hole] [WOW!] Microsoft Corp. warned customers Tuesday about unusually serious security problems with its Windows software that could let hackers quietly break into their computers to steal files, delete data or eavesdrop on sensitive information. ... Microsoft... learned about the flaws more than six months ago from researchers... A Microsoft security executive... said the flawed software was 'an extremely deep and pervasive technology in Window'... 'This is one of the most serious Microsoft vulnerabilities ever released... The breadth of systems affected is probably the largest ever. This is something that will let you get into Internet servers, internal networks, pretty much any system.' ...[Some] computer systems that control critically important power or water utilities were vulnerable.

  • Experts: Mydoom worm spreading faster than last year's Sobig-F (ComputerWorld, 2004.01.26)
    [Virus/Worm] [Privacy] [WOW!] A new e-mail worm that first appeared on the Internet this afternoon is spreading rapidly, according to leading security companies. ... The worm will install a 'key logger' that can capture anything that is entered, including passwords and credit card numbers...

  • Microsoft Probes Flaw That Could Help Fraudsters Create Fake Web Sites (InformationWeek, 2003.12.11)
    [Security Hole] [MS Internet Explorer] [Privacy] [WOW!] The vulnerability lets attackers display any URL name they wish in the address and status bars of Internet Explorer, allowing them to collect sensitive information. ... This flaw would make it appear to Internet users that they're visiting a banking Web site, for example, when that site is actually a front for fraudsters attempting to collect sensitive financial information.

  • AtStake CTO loses job after Microsoft report (Forbes, 2003.09.25)
    [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [WOW!] The chief technology officer of computer security firm AtStake... has been fired after taking part in writing a report criticizing Windows as posing a national cybersecurity risk... Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer of network security services firm Counterpane Internet Security and a co-author of the report, said the situation illustrates the power Microsoft has to silence critics.

  • Experts: Reliance On Microsoft A Danger To National Security (CRN, 2003.09.24)
    [Government] [WOW!] According to the report and its seven authors--security consultants and leaders of several security firms--the biggest problem is the over-reliance by corporations and governments worldwide on Microsoft's products. ... While the report's authors note the seriousness of their recommendations, they stood by them. 'When the government uses a product whose monopoly position undermines its security, anti-trust becomes a national security issue'...

  • Three New Critical RPC Flaws Found (eWeek, 2003.09.10)
    [Security Hole] [WOW!] Nearly a month to the day after the Blaster worm began tearing through the Internet... [Microsoft] said that there are three newly identified flaws in the RPC protocol in Windows, two of which are quite similar to the one that Blaster attacks. ... An attacker who exploits one of the [flaws] would be able to run any code he chose on a vulnerable machine.

  • Microsoft software "riddled with vulnerabilities", trade body claims (the inquirer, 2003.08.28)
    [Security Hole] [Government] [WOW!] The US Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has urged the US Department of Homeland Security to avoid using Microsoft software. ... It accuses Microsoft of being more interested in economic marketing and competition than security...

  • Sobig [...] Experts say the E-mail-borne virus is showing the ability to update itself (InformationWeek, 2003.08.20)
    [Virus/Worm] [WOW!] [S]ecurity experts discovered Wednesday that the malicious program also had the ability to update itself. ... Sobig is unusual in that it has the ability to go onto the Internet from its host PC and update itself with new capabilities [including] tools for denial-of-service attacks or relaying spam... the bigger danger lies in its ability to open a port in a computer, enabling a hacker to upload a Trojan. The small application can let a hacker take control of a computer or search for passwords in the system to break into people's online accounts.

  • Big bank suffers Windows ATM crash (The Inquirer, 2003.08.20)
    [Virus/Worm] [WOW!] One of the big five banks in the UK could not let customers withdraw money today because a Microsoft Windows problem crashed the [ATM system].

  • Slammer worm crashed Ohio nuke plant network (SecurityFocus, 2003.08.19)
    [Virus/Worm] [WOW!] The Slammer worm penetrated a private computer network at Ohio's Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in January and disabled a safety monitoring system for nearly five hours, despite a belief by plant personnel that the network was protected by a firewall... According to the reports, plant computer engineers hadn't installed the patch for the MS-SQL vulnerability that Slammer exploited. In fact, they didn't know there was a patch, which Microsoft released six months before Slammer struck.

  • Virus Leaks Files From University Hall (The Harvard Crimson, 2003.06.27)
    [Security Hole] [Privacy] [MS Outlook] [WOW!] [Administrators'] personal correspondence -- including a memo concerning a case before the Administrative Board -- found its way to mere acquaintances. The administrative glasnost was not intentional, however, caused instead by a computer virus that swept across the Internet in early June and infected a number of University Hall machines. ... Harvard students reported receiving a variety of seemingly misaddressed, unusual messages... at least one message, sent from an infected machine on the second floor of University Hall and received by at least three Harvard undergraduates, contained a confidential memo [between the Secretary and Dean of the Faculty].

  • New BugBear worm still spreading (MSNBC News, 2003.06.05)
    [Security Hole] [Privacy] [MS Internet Explorer] [MS Outlook] [WOW!] Malicious program specifically targets financial institutions... The new worm spread to 115 countries just hours after its release... '[It] is likely to be more damaging than any virus seen so far this year...' [It] uses a particularly nasty flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer program and its implementation by Microsoft's Outlook e-mail reader that allows the virus to infect machines whenever a victim simply previews an e-mail message loaded with the program.

  • Flaw exposes Microsoft ID service (BBC News, 2003.05.09)
    [Security Hole] [Privacy] [WOW!] Microsoft has admitted that for the last seven months up to 200 million Passport accounts have been vulnerable to plundering by thieves and malicious hackers. ... The vulnerability lets a criminal get access to a Passport account using a specific web address and a trigger phrase. ... Passport is closely tied to Microsoft's Windows XP, Hotmail and instant messaging products. ... Criminals exploiting the flaw could have gained access to personal information, credit card details and online mail accounts. ... [The researcher who discovered the flaw] sent 10 messages to Microsoft detailing the vulnerability but got no response. Microsoft only reacted when information about the flaw was posted online.

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