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
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- Internet Explorer carved up by zero-day hole
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
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
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
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
- Browser Hijackers Ruining Lives
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
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
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 . ...
[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
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
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
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,
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,
The URL [victims are tricked into clicking on] does some really nasty stuff.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
[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
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
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,
[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
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
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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