Monday, November 27, 2006

Been getting a lot of spam lately? Thank Microsoft

According to this article, the huge increase in spam over the last couple of months is due to a massive botnet controlled by a group of Russian hackers. So the inevitable has happened. As sysadmins and ISPs around the world have made it all but impossible to send spam from legitimate domains, so the spammers have gone for the weakest link: computers that are connected to the Internet but are hopelessly compromised by kludgy and poorly designed security. In other words, the Windows machines used by your parents, your spouse, your kids and your neighbours. Data obtained from reverse-engineering a botnet control client shows that many of the compromised computers are running XP Service Pack 2, the version of Windows that was supposed to represent a major tightening up of security. Guess that was more PR than substance, which is not, shall we say, unassociated with Microsoft. So even if you don't use Windows yourself, you still have to suffer the consequences of Microsoft's short-sighted design principles. Just wonderful.


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