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Re: [News] Estimated Number of Windows Zombies: up to 47 Million

  • Subject: Re: [News] Estimated Number of Windows Zombies: up to 47 Million
  • From: Mark Kent <mark.kent@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 09:21:04 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • References: <1281916.xpyD1k5g01@schestowitz.com>
  • User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)
  • Xref: news.mcc.ac.uk comp.os.linux.advocacy:1104048
begin  oe_protect.scr 
Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
> Malicious-software spreaders get sneakier, more prevalent
> ,----[ Quote ]
>| Tim Cranton, director of Microsoft's Internet Safety Enforcement
>| Team, calls bot networks "the tool of choice for those intent on
>| using the Internet to carry out crimes."
>| Estimating the number of bots is difficult, but top researchers who
>| participate in meetings of high-tech's Messaging Anti-Abuse Working
>| Group often use a 7% infection rate as a discussion point. That
>| means as many as 47 million of the 681 million PCs connected to
>| the Internet worldwide may be under the control of a bot network.
>| Security giant McAfee detected 28,000 distinct bot networks active
>| last year, more than triple the amount in 2004. And a February
>| survey of 123 tech executives, conducted by security firm nCircle,
>| pegged annual losses to U.S. businesses because of computer-related
>| crimes at $197 billion.
>| [...]
>| Diabl0 designed Zotob to quietly seek out certain Windows computer
>| servers equipped with the latest compilation of upgrades, called a
>| service pack. But he failed to account for thousands of Windows
>| servers still running outdated service packs, says Peter Allor,
>| director of intelligence at Internet Security Systems.
> `----
> http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20060424/tc_usatoday/malicioussoftwarespreadersgetsneakiermoreprevalent

It is rather fascinating to see how much Microsoft have done for the
growth of cyber-warfare in the 'cypherpunk' view of the world.  Who else
could've produce software so insecure, and spawn a monopoly of it,
that 68 million machines could be made available for the construction
of botnets for dubious and illegal activity.

This illustrates very well the dangers of monoculture and monopoly where
security is a concern.  Of course, this problem would diminish by
several orders of magnitude were everyone to adopt linux instead.  For
example, imagine if people could be persuaded to switch off their
Windows PC for 1/2 the working day - that would reduce the 68 Million
windows zombie/days down to 34 Million instantly!  And save loads of
power as well.

Imagine if all PCs were shipped dual-boot, and people were to run linux
for 50% of the time - same result - instantly 34 Million bot-days are
removed from the internet.

If we could get linux as a dual-boot option on all PCs, and people were
to only use Windows for 10% of the day, then we'd remove 67 Million
bot-days from the internet.

The savings to governmnet, business and the average person would be

| Mark Kent   --   mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk  |
Courage is your greatest present need.

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