Reasons to Avoid Microsoft
These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and
others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.
Next 25 Articles
- Flame: 'Most complex' cyber-attack ever discovered
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
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
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,
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
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
- Office of the State [of California] CIO IT Policy Letter: Open Source Software Policy
(California Office of the State Chief Information Officer,
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
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
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
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 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
- After one year, Conficker infects 7 million computers
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
'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
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
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
[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
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
- Hidden Fees Discovered for "Free" Windows 7 Upgrades
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
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
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
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
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]
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
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
- PC Invader Costs Kentucky County $415,000
(The Washington Post,
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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