Recently your humble blogger heard of an initiative by Microsoft called "Microsoft Security At Home". And curious to explore this initiative, visited the page in question at www.microsoft.com. You can find the web page, dear reader, by googling for "Microsoft Security At Home". It had lots of interesting information about security and security threats. One of the threats Microsoft warned your blogger about about was "conficker worm". Along with the warning was a link to find out if the humble computer was infected with "conficker". Here is what was displayed upon following the link:
Is my computer infected with the Conficker worm?
Probably not. Microsoft released a security update in October 2008 (MS08-067) to protect against Conficker.
Well your blogger was greatly relieved to learn this. And next, in the interest of science, tried the Free Security Scan, which Microsoft offered. Here is what your blogger discovered:
We're sorry. This version of the Windows Live OneCare safety scanner doesn't work with your Web browser or operating system.
You need Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows Server 2003, or Windows 2000 Server. You also need either Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or MSNŽ 9.0 or higher .
And so dear reader, would your humble blogger consider downgrading all his Linux PCs to Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6.0 or greater in order to make them more secure! (according to Microsoft's official advice)? Oh, don't answer answer that -- It was rhetorical.
Recently it seems that the matter of Internet security is once again raising its ugly head --- and its about time! Dear Reader!
About two weeks ago on ABC TV, there were a couple of items concerning Internet security. Neither of these would have left the viewer feeling relaxed and comfortable about the Internet. The first one, on Four Corners focused on DOS attacks and wireless access. And the second called "Web Warriors", painted a grim picture indeed! According to this documentary, shadowy gangs of criminal masterminds, known as "hackers", could download malware kits from the Internet. These kits were, to all intents and purpose, off-the-shelf malware kits. Nasty net villians could easily download these kits and roll their own spam, malware, trojans and worms not only attacking individual computers and websites, extracting bank accounts and credit card details, but having the potential of bringing down the entire electricity grid, paralysing the national energy and transport infrastructure!
Scary stuff, dear reader ... Very scary stuff!
But did any of you spot the elephant in the room? ...The great big fat bull elephant, trumpeting, bellowing and bashing into cameras, lighting and sound equipment, with the oxymoron "Microsoft Security" emblazoned on its forehead? Did any of you spot that elephant?
Well it seems a friend of this website did! He wrote as follows:
Yes, I was watching the web warriors doco and would have been afraid, very afraid, except for two things. (a) I've never got more in a bank at any one time that anyone would want to steal, and (b) I got a Linux system and don't get net nasties, so I don't give a rat's arse anymore.
You sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas, ok.
I did feel, at my level of computery knowledge, or lack of it, that most of the problems noted in that doco would just disappear "el poof" if people/corporations, and probably the documentary makers as well, simply stopped using Microsoft software/servers and used Linux or Mac. Like, bingo, no probs.
Or am I (and you maybe) all too reminded of, like, Calpurnia, widow of the assassinated Julius Caesar, in the famous radio play by Johnny Wayne and Frank Schuster (with apologies to Shakespeare) many years ago, re the Ides of March ...
I told him, Julie, don't go there, Julie, don't go to the forum on the Ides of March. Boo hoo. He went to the forum, I told him, Julie don't go.
Et tu, Steve Ballmer?
Wayne and Schuster were, like the Three Amigos, very funny guys. And so are those computer hackers! ... Funny. Like, it's that easy, you actually can get off-the-shelf software to bring down an electricity-supply system?
But you can't get off-the-shelf software to run your electricity supply system? Really?
Google has lately been distributing software to help people run radio stations. Gee, I hope it's a cross-platform software. What if Google started distributing cross-platform software to help people run their electricity supply systems, free of Microsoft nonsense? This would be subversive? Of what, exactly?
As long as Microsoft and its low standards aren't prosecuted by the FBI and the CIA, ie, the US Govt itself, as a decided danger to security for governments and infrastructure all around the world, nothing can or will be done. Microsoft is not quite as bad an international, global nasty as derivatives etc. were from Wall St, or Bernie Madoff, but it comes close. Yet as we know, if treason prospers, none dare call it treason. Patent insanity, it rules, Ok. Corporate America trips on its own shoelaces, too. Doh, the emperors with no clothes can't see it. Doh.
Your devoted blogger could not have put it more succinctly using his own humble words and phrases ...
Stabbed in the Senate?
No not the Senate in the Rotunda!
That's a fatal spot. I had a splinter there once. Those marble splinters you know.
Please excuse your humble blogger, dear reader, while he rinses the blood off his toga ...