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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.

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  • Three's a charm for MS06-042? (InfoWorld, 2006.09.12)
    [MS Internet Explorer] [Security Hole] It's patch Tuesday again, and Microsoft's hoping three's a charm for its wayward Cumulative [Internet Explorer] patch, MS06-042. The company quietly re-released (actually re-re-released) [the patch] today to fix yet another security hole introduced by the [previous] software update. ... the [Internet Explorer] patch was updated [...] to fix another remote code execution vulnerability ... That's almost identical to the problem introduced in the original version of the patch...

  • Quickest Patch Ever (Wired, 2006.09.07)
    [Monopoly] If you really want to see Microsoft scramble to patch a hole in its software, don't look to vulnerabilities that impact countless Internet Explorer users or give intruders control of thousands of Windows machines. Just crack Redmond's [Digital Rights Management]. ... No user is ever going to say: 'Oh no. I can now play the music I bought for my PC on my Mac. I must install a patch so I can't do that anymore.'

  • India State to Dump Windows for Linux (Washington Post, 2006.09.01)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Education] A southern Indian state plans to switch all school computers from Microsoft Windows to the free Linux operating system... computers used in some 12,500 high schools in the state of Kerala [will be switched to Linux].

  • With Exploits Out, MS Braces for Worm Attack (eWeek, 2006.08.10)
    [Security Hole] [MS Windows XP] [WOW!] A network worm attack exploiting a critical Microsoft Windows vulnerability appears inevitable... An exploit module [exists] that could launch attacks against all unpatched Windows 2000 systems and some versions of Windows XP. ... "The nature of the vulnerability itself is something that should be taken very seriously. The fact that exploits were out even before Patch Day and now that public code is available for anyone to download and use, that's enough to treat this as a high-priority issue..."

  • Flaw finders lay siege to Microsoft Office (The Register, 2006.07.22)
    [Security Hole] [WOW!] So far this year, the software giant has detailed at least 24 Office flaws found by outside researchers in its monthly bulletins, six times the number of Office flaws found in all of 2005. The count also surpasses the 20 flaws that Microsoft has fixed so far this year in Internet Explorer, a perennial favorite among vulnerability researchers. ... While a vulnerability in a remote network service could be exploited to create a worm and tends to worry system administrators more, the rash of attacks leveraging the Office vulnerabilities to compromise specific companies underscores the seriousness of the current threat. ... While Office files require some user interaction to compromise a victim's system, most workers are now accustomed to receiving such files, especially if attached to an e-mail that appears to be genuine...

  • Hacked Ad Seen on MySpace Served Spyware to a Million (Washington Post, 2006.07.20)
    [MS Internet Explorer] [Security Hole] [WOW!] An online banner advertisement that ran on MySpace.com and other sites over the past week used a Windows security flaw to infect more than a million users with spyware when people merely browsed the sites with unpatched versions of Windows... online criminal groups have been using the flaw to install adware, keystroke loggers and all manner of invasive software for the past seven months. This stuff bombards the user with pop-up ads and tracks their Web usage. Only a little more than half of the anti-virus programs [tested] flagged the various programs that the Trojan tried to download as malicious or suspicious.

  • Symantec sees an Achilles' heel in Vista (Symantec, 2006.07.18)
    [Security Hole] Some of Microsoft's efforts to make Windows Vista its most stable and secure operating system ever could cause instability and new security flaws, according to a Symantec report. ... Aside from security flaws, features supported by Vista's new networking technology could expose a PC running the operating system, according to Symantec's report.

  • Yamanner - JavaScript worm that targets Yahoo! Mail (F-Secure, 2006.06.13)
    [MS Internet Explorer] [Security Hole] The Yamanner worm does not send itself as an attachment, it resides inside the e-mail body. The worm activates automatically by just opening an infected e-mail message with Internet Explorer.

  • Microsoft: Malware Found on Roughly 1 in 300 PCs (CIO, 2006.06.12)
    [Virus/Worm] The combination of rootkits and other types of malicious software is one trend on the rise. Rootkits were found on 14 percent of infected computers, and when rootkits were discovered, they were combined with "backdoor Trojan" software 20 percent of the time. These programs are used by hackers to remotely control infected computers.

  • Microsoft's Calling Home Problem: It's a Matter of Informed Consent (Groklaw, 2006.06.11)
    [Privacy] [WOW!] No doubt many of you saw on Slashdot the article "Microsoft Talks Daily With Your Computer" or in Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols article for eWeek titled, Big Microsoft Brother, about allegations that Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage validation tool phones home daily to report information to Microsoft about you on each boot. Lauren Weinstein broke the story on his blog. Microsoft has now put out a statement, asserting that the Windows Genuine Advantage tool is not spyware, that they're going to change it some, and that one thing that distinguishes it from spyware is that they get consent before installing it. I question the accuracy of the statement.

  • Rotten Effort (ComputerWorld, 2006.05.08)
    [Monopoly] [WOW!] It's bad enough when Microsoft strong-arms other software vendors into submission as a means of thwarting competition. But when it engages in underhanded tactics to intimidate users in order to land a software deal, we have a very disturbing situation on our hands.

  • The Microsoft malaise - Eight signs that the software giant is dead in the water (MarketWatch, 2006.05.03)
    [Monopoly] Microsoft should have abandoned MSN a decade ago. There is a lot of talk about Microsoft becoming more of a publisher and selling advertising. ... This is not a media publishing company; it's a software publishing company. ... Microsoft has been unable to cope with Open Source except to complain about it.

  • OpenDocument Approved by ISO/IEC Members (TheConsortiumInfo.org, 2006.05.03)
    [Linux/Open Source] [WOW!] With adoption of ODF by ISO/IEC now assured, software that implements the standard will now become more attractive to those European and other government purchasers for whom global adoption by ISO/IEC is either desirable, or required. Given the ongoing unhappiness in Europe with Microsoft over what the EU regards as unacceptable bundling and other practices, this may be particularly significant, especially when taken with the desire of many European and other purchasers to use open source products whenever possible. Offerings such as OpenOffice and KOffice therefore should receive a boost in appeal and usage, as well as for-sale versions, such as Sun's StarOffice and IBM's Internet-based offering.

  • Internet Explorer Window Loading Race Condition Address Bar Spoofing (Secunia, 2006.04.04)
    [MS Internet Explorer] [Security Hole] [WOW!] [A] vulnerability in Internet Explorer [has been discovered] which can be exploited by malicious people to conduct phishing attack.

  • UK city to move 5,500 desktops to StarOffice (DesktopLinux.com, 2006.03.31)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The Bristol (UK) City Council Thursday made the decision to convert its 5,500 desktops from Microsoft Office to Sun Microsystems's OpenDocument Format-compliant StarOffice office suite. The city, after extensive study, concluded that it would save 60 percent of total costs of ownership over a five-year period by making the switch.

  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hints at possibility of Microsoft litigating against Linux (OSDir.com, 2006.03.25)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Monopoly] In an interview with Forbes, Microsoft?s CEO Steve Ballmer stops short of announcing patent litigation against Linux.

  • Microsoft Confirms IE Under Attack (Microsoft Watch, 2006.03.25)
    [MS Internet Explorer] [Security Hole] [An] unpatched flaw in Internet Explorer [discovered last week is] already being exploited by hackers who are using hijacked Web servers and compromised Web sites to launch a wave of attacks against Microsoft browser users.

  • Homeland Security report tracks down rogue open source code (The Register, 2006.03.03)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] The authors of a US government-sponsored report claim to have delivered the first reliable guide into judging the safety and reliability of open source software. The report, backed by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has evaluated 31 popular open source packages searching for defects that will cause 'hard crashes' - problems that leave users open to hackers or cause downtime. [...] the report ... has effectively given the Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl/PHP/Python (LAMP) stack a healthy rating. [It] 'showed significantly better software quality' above the report's baseline[,] with an average of .32 defects per 1,000 lines of code...

  • Invasion of the Computer Snatchers (Washingtonpost.com, 2006.02.19)
    [Security Hole] [Privacy] [WOW!] Hackers are hijacking thousands of PCs to spy on users, shake down online businesses, steal identities and send millions of pieces of spam. If you think your computer is safe, think again. ... At the moment, [the hacker interviewed] controls more than 13,000 computers in more than 20 countries. This morning he installs spyware on just a few hundred of the 2,000 PCs that he has commandeered in the last few hours

  • January Virus and Spam Statistics: 2006 Starts with a Bang (Commtouch press release, 2006.02.15)
    [Virus/Worm] [WOW!] The numbers are indeed concerning: 19 new email-born significant virus attacks, of which [...] 4 (21%) were massive attacks - a rare phenomenon for a single month. ... Commtouch was able to compare detection times of 21 leading AV engines against 19 new viruses in January. The results: [1] On average, each AV completely missed 6.2 viruses (the attack was [already] completed, and a signature was [still not] available). [2] The average response time to new viruses among all AV engines was 8.12 hours. "The data should be of great concern to AV vendors and IT managers alike. [...] An eight hour response spells a simple truth - a traditional AV solution does not stand a chance against massive attacks that end before a signature is even released."

  • Linux Allies Rebut Microsoft 'Get the Facts' Campaign (eWeek, 2006.02.13)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt] [A] 17-page research report entitled "Get the Truth on Linux Management" [has been published] that challenges Redmond's claims that Linux has a higher TCO (total cost of ownership) and systems management costs than Windows. The study's overall conclusion is that Linux may, in many cases, be substantially less expensive to own than Windows

  • Microsoft Anti-Spyware Deleting Norton Anti-Virus (Washingtonpost.com, 2006.02.12)
    [Bug] Microsoft's Anti-Spyware program is causing troubles for people who also use Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus software; apparently, a recent update to Microsoft's anti-spyware application flags Norton as a password-stealing program and prompts users to remove it. ... When Microsoft Anti-Spyware users remove the flagged Norton file as prompted, Symantec's product gets corrupted and no longer protects the user's machine. The Norton user then has to go through the Windows registry and delete multiple entries (registry editing is always a dicey affair that can quickly hose a system if the user doesn't know what he or she is doing) so that the program can be completely removed and re-installed.

  • Spyware Barely Touches Firefox (Yahoo! News, 2006.02.09)
    [Linux/Open Source] [MS Internet Explorer] [Privacy] Internet Explorer users can be as much as 21 times more likely to end up with a spyware-infected PC than people who go online with Mozilla's Firefox browser, academic researchers [said]. ... [Researchers] sent their crawlers to 45,000 Web sites, cataloged the executable files found, and tested malicious sites' effectiveness by exposing unpatched versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox to "drive-by downloads." ... no domain managed to infect the Firefox-equipped PC in a drive-by download attack.

  • California Holds Hearing on Open Source Software in Election Systems (Government Technology Magazine, 2006.02.08)
    [Linux/Open Source] [Government] Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach, Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment & Constitutional Amendments Committee, and a candidate for California Secretary of State, conducted a hearing today to look at how private companies, as well as state and federal agencies, have begun using "open source software" and where it can or should be used in California's electoral system.

  • Microsoft warns of file-trashing worm (Network World, 2006.01.31)
    [Security Hole] Microsoft has published a security advisory warning Windows users of a file-trashing worm that has been circulating via e-mail for several weeks. The worm, which is programmed to destroy a wide variety of files on the third day of every month, has been circulating since mid-January, and is estimated to have infected between 250,000 and 300,000 systems worldwide.

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