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2012 May 28 09:01

Reasons to Avoid Microsoft

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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Worm Transcodes MP3s To Infect PCs (Slashdot.org, 2008.07.18)
    [Virus/Worm] Kaspersky Labs has discovered malware that inserts links to malicious Web pages within ASF media files, posing a danger to Windows users who download music files from P2P networks. Infected files launch IE and load a page that asks the user to download a codec. The download, a Trojan horse, installs a proxy program to route other traffic through the PC. The malware also has worm-like qualities, according to Secure Computing. It searches for MP3s, transcodes them to WMA format, wraps them in an ASF container, and adds links to further copies of the malware, all without modifying the .MP3 extension.

  • Sneaky Blackmailing Virus That Encrypts [Your] Data [and holds it hostage] (Slashdot, 2008.06.05)
    [WOW!] [Virus/Worm] ... the criminal tells the victims that the file has been encrypted and offers to sell them a decryptor. Is this a look into the future where the majority of malware will function based on extortion?

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  • Virus writers target web videos (BBC News, 2006.10.31)
    [Security Hole] [Virus/Worm] Security firms are reporting more and more instances of booby-trapped Windows codecs - file compressors - required to play some video formats. Some of the codecs let users play types of net-based video, but also have spyware and adware wrapped inside. Others, say experts, are outright fakes that just want to infect victims with data-stealing programs.

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • Got Spyware? Throw out the Computer! (Slashdot.org, 2005.07.16)
    [Virus/Worm] [WOW!] 'While no figures are available on the ranks of those jettisoning their PC's, the scourge of unwanted software is widely felt.' ... Twenty percent of those who tried to fix the problem said it had not been solved; among those who spent money seeking a remedy, the average outlay was $129.

  • Spyware problems strikes tens of millions of computer users (Digital Home Canada, 2005.07.06)
    [Virus/Worm] [About] 93 million American internet users (68% of them) have had computer trouble in the past year that is consistent with problems caused spyware and viruses... Some 25% of internet users have seen new programs on their computers that they did not install or new icons on their desktop that seemed to come out of nowhere. One in five internet users (18%) have had their homepage inexplicably changed.

  • Warning: Zafi.D Spreads Some Festive Misery (Help Net Security, 2004.12.14)
    [Virus/Worm] W32/Zafi.D-mm is a Christmas-themed mass mailing virus that uses its own SMTP engine to spread and harvests email addresses from compromised machines. The virus also attempts to replicate via P2P applications.

  • New Bagle virus declares cyber war (vnunet, 2004.10.29)
    [Virus/Worm] Over one million email infections were reported within a few hours of the virus being discovered in the wild on Friday morning.

  • Virus puts brakes on licensing for the week (The Denver Post, 2004.09.22)
    [Government] [Virus/Worm] State driver's licenses and identification cards won't be available for the remainder of the week because of a virus that has crippled the computer system since Friday. As many as 20,000 Coloradans may be inconvenienced by the computer down time.

  • License issuance still idled (The Denver Post, 2004.09.21)
    [Government] [Virus/Worm] State driver's licenses and identification cards won't be issued again today, inconveniencing thousands of Coloradans for a second straight day. An unidentified computer virus forced the Colorado Department of Revenue to close the system at 2:30 p.m. Friday, and it hasn't been up since...

  • New Bagle version spreading (InfoWorld, 2004.08.09)
    [Virus/Worm] Like earlier Bagle versions, it contains its own Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) e-mail engine, gleans e-mail addresses from files stored on the hard drive of computers it infects and sends copies of itself out to those addresses using forged (or 'spoofed') sender addresses. ... he new worm injects a file known as a dynamic link library, or DLL, into Windows that allows the worm to disguise itself as the Microsoft Corp. Internet Explorer Web browser. That allows Bagle to masquerade its actions as those of IE, fooling firewall software that may be running on machines it infects and that would block communications to other systems on the Internet from unauthorized applications. As a result, the new Bagle version is able to request and download malicious files with impunity, he said. For companies that may use content blocking products that inspect Web traffic, the new Bagle variant also has a feature that alters the names of files it requests in transit. For example, it can rename EXE program files as innocuous files such as JPG images, which content filtering products typically allow. Once downloaded to the infected system, however, the new Bagle version renames and runs the EXE files...

  • 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.'

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • New `bot' program can control PCs (The Mercury News, 2004.03.18)
    [Virus/Worm] A new malicious computer program has been detected that can create networks of remotely controlled computers to take part in online attacks [and] send junk e-mail messages... Once the program has made its way onto a victim's computer, it spreads across networks and searches for passwords that are stored on hard drives and are passing across local networks. It also disables anti-virus programs and systems for upgrading software security.

  • New Netsky-D Worm Spreading Through E-Mail (Reuters, 2004.03.01)
    [Virus/Worm] When opened, the virus pif file will rapidly replicate itself, slowing down computers and e-mail bandwidth. ... Netsky-B, an earlier variant of the latest worm, was rated the third worst computer virus in February [2004].

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

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