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Comment Re:If only... (Score 1) 143

I don't like windows just as much as the next guy, but this is a pretty dumb statement. Users are targets, the OS is just a medium.

*sigh* I really shouldn't feed the Trolls, but one that uses the word "dumb" in almost every sentence in their post, obviously has an affinity for the word and needs some help.

In some instances, users are the "audience" (e.g. adware, phishing, etc) but that's only secondary, their systems are still the target. Unless the malware/virus writers start programming in AminoAcid++, they can't "target" a user, only their systems. And when someone's system is infected by a botnet and that botnet then launches a DDoS on, oh, let's say whitehouse.gov, is that user the target? No. Is Obama the target? No. Is the whitehouse.gov webserver the target? Yes.

So I'd be careful about telling someone that they said something dumb when you follow it up with a clueless statement of your own. But, perhaps you already knew that, since you posted anonymously.

OK, if you must phrase things in this backwards 'clever' way, how's this:

Malware doesn't target dumb users because they use Windows, malware targets Windows because that's what dumb users use.

Feel better?

You obviously missed both the point of logic and the point in general.

I won't try teach you logic, but I'll reiterate the larger point. Malware doesn't target windows because that's where there are "dumb users", it targets windows because that's where the "security" is dumb.

I've met plenty of "dumb users" using OSX, but they aren't getting infected, nor will they ever be to the same extent that their windows brethren are even if MS folded tomorrow and Apple spiked to a 90% market share. Why? Because *NIX security is not inherently flawed like Win* is.

Dumb users will use an infected machine until it no longer functions or something else makes them stop. Smart users know how to use their system in a less risky way, preemptively make their system less vulnerable (e.g. applying updates, using a firewall, using anti-virus).

Guess which OS more dumb users are using?

First off, there are plenty of smart people out there who use Windows and I don't fault them their choice. It's there's to make after all. It's not like they can't afford an alternative or anything.

Secondly, your personal attacks/slights do not add anything positive to the image of our community and in fact, do us a great detriment. Calling the other side dumb is stupid, calling them stupid is asinine and calling them asinine is vacuous. So please stop doing that. We want to be welcoming, not scare them off with psychobabble.

That being said, you can be as smart as you want, keep your system patched, use a firewall, use antivirus and only visit a handful of known and respected sites run by big companies and while all of that effort might make you "less vulnerable", it won't make you invulnerable. At some point, some well crafted packet is going to come in on that wire and it's going to 0-day exploit your up-to-date system. Or one of the few sites you visit is going to have their server compromised, either through a 0-day or because they aren't as carefull as you and when you visit their site tomorrow IE is going to happily hand your system over to a botnet via ActiveX or some other nice friendly hook MS left exposed for such nasty things.

Comment Re:If only... (Score 3, Insightful) 143

They might try to tailor their junk for these environments, but it's like the difference between a normal car (windows) and a car coated with teflon with a motion sensing machine gun on top (OSX/Linux), with the worms/viruses/malware being a type of graffiti paint.

Graffiti will stick pretty well to a normal car (and if you tend to stop in the more seedy parts of town than others, you have more of a chance of having your car "tagged" too), but it's not going to be very effective on the teflon coated ones and the owner is going to have to be silly enough to log in as root to disable the guns so the criminals can get close enough in the first place.

The argument that the reason why windows is being attacked is because it has a majority share is an ass backwards way of thinking about the issue.

Windows is targeted because it's "security" is inherently flawed, it's security isn't flawed because it's being targeted. The fact that it has a majority share is just an added bonus for these people, but it has nothing to do with the underlying problem, (though it certainly does help the problem grow by orders of magnitude).

I'm reminded of Dan Dennett's Ted Talk where he insightfully points out that, we don't like chocolate cake because it's sweet, it's sweet because we like it.

Another way of looking at it is like this... Houses aren't unoccupied, unalarmed and filled with artwork, expensive stereos and silverware because someone wants to break into them, someone wants to break into them because they are unoccupied, unalarmed and filled with artwork, expensive stereos and silverware.

If OSX or Linux took a majority share of the desktop, the problem wouldn't shift like you are thinking it would. Granted, there would be an uptick in attempts and there will inevitably even be a few holes to patch up that were previously unknown, but there certainly won't be an equivalent to the 100,000+ viruses that exist for Windows.

United States

Submission + - New York Plans Surveillance Veil for Downtown (nytimes.com)

plaxion writes: Let the Orwellian commentary commence because New York is now planning a London-style Big Brother surveillance system for Downtown. Article Quote: "By the end of this year, police officials say, more than 100 cameras will have begun monitoring cars moving through Lower Manhattan, the beginning phase of a London-style surveillance system that would be the first in the United States...Three thousand surveillance cameras would be installed below Canal Street by the end of 2008, about two-thirds of them owned by downtown companies." But wait, there's more! "Pivoting gates would be installed at critical intersections; they would swing out to block traffic or a suspect car at the push of a button."

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