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Windows XP Service Pack 3 = Malware

Discussion in 'Computer Talk' started by ori, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. ori

    ori Repair Guy Super Moderator

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    or so thought McAfee :mischief:

     
  2. PeteAtoms

    PeteAtoms FormulaRandom

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    I'll see if I can find the article, but I read that this slip-up has caused millions of dollars lost, among the users affected... oops :p
     
  3. Furiey

    Furiey No Longer Just Lurking

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  4. Bratmon

    Bratmon Super Bratmon 3

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    Hey! This "explorer" process is using a lot of memory! It must be a virus!
     
  5. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    It's not funny.

    Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 are all examples of pervasive malware derived from the notorious NT malware family.

    Unsuspecting users will install these products thinking they are acceptable operating systems. However, those users are in fact being tricked into installing a product that contains many initially-undisclosed means of access (such as ActiveX). These holes permit anonymous remote users to install and execute further malicious code.

    Furthermore, following extended usage, the NT family of malware will cause a HDD to become excessively fragmented and consequently over-burdened. This can inflict on the unsuspecting user an otherwise avoidable loss of data, reduced system performance, and risks total system failure.

    Unsuspecting users are being duped into thinking this is unforeseeable, buying a new PC, and repeating their error. Permanent fix available at apple.com
     
  6. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

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    Stuff this crap where the sun dont shine, please.

    Most vulnerabilities are caused by the user, not by the system. I've been using windows for over a decade and the number of times I've had virii can be counted on one hand. Most of these were due to my own ignorance.

    OSX likely has a lot of similar vulnerabilities to UNIX, as it was originally based on the Mach kernel, which was meant as a drop-in for BSD Unix. I bet you there's more than a dozen ways to get a null pointer deref on OSX.

    Windows Vista and 7 both automatically defragment. It's been over 2 years since I went to Vista (and then 7) and I have not had to defrag manually once in that time.

    Unsuspecting users are being duped that Steve Jobs has all the answers. They fall into his web of lies and become mindless fanboys. Permanent fix available at www.gnu.org, www.linux.org, www.freebsd.org and others.
     
  7. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    Saw this headline and figured it probably was some Linux Lunatic posting it to start a trolling thread. Fortunately it wasn't, but then what do you know, we do get an Apple Fanatic jumping in and fulfilling just the role the Linux Lunatic would be expected to fill (albeit with a different suggested fix). Go figure.

    The one thing stormbind is right about is that it's not funny - pretty serious rather. I'm sure it'll be costing McAfee a pretty penny when it times come for the affected to decide whether to renew their security subscriptions. And whoever's job it was to test the patches before release won't be having a fun Monday. Couldn't make much bigger of an oversight.
     
  8. illram

    illram Deity

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    People still use McAfee?
     
  9. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    NTFS is much less prone to problematic fragmentation than FAT-32, and both Vista and Win7 automatically defrag when the computer is idle.
     
  10. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

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    Sure they will! They'll have the whole day off. Heck, the whole month off. Plenty of time to go to the bar.
     
  11. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    Regarding the time-consuming defrag: I take the view that prevention is better than cure! :)

    Way back in the age of Win95, I advocated this little tip: In system properties, set the minimum and maximum swap file size to about 3 times the system RAM. This has two effects. While the system is fresh (such as the first run) it will be a few milliseconds slower because its accessing more disk space. After the system is aged (read: be used once) the computer will be many times faster than it would have been if you didn't do this.

    By forcing a fixed-size swap file, every time the computer uses virtual memory (which is every session), the exact same space is used on the HDD. This contrasts with the default setting which will use a different area each time, interspersed with updated system files and new documents - that represents a source of significant fragmentation :crazyeye:

    I am not an Apple or *NIX fanatic. I am a provider of solutions and nothing more :)

    So it seems Windows can be fixed, but its still not ideal. *nix takes a similar approach of using a separate partition for the swap file. The *nix approach has the advantage of being able to reserve the sweetest parts of a HDD before installing a system, as well as allowing the swap file to change size without risking fragmentation.

    Its not about changing the size once or twice, or even ten times. Its that Microsoft would have it changing continuously and then using clever algorithms to try and clean up the mess. I must iterate that prevention is better than cure.

    Now lets look at NT vulnerabilities, such as users failing to disable everything MS installed to fragment that HDD.

    If you don't disable things such as ActiveX and MS Office macros, then you are exposed to serious threats. So being wise users, we switch these off. In other words we pay for and install upgrades and immediately switch them off - yeah, that's value for money!

    If you don't switch them off you're apparently an ignorant who deserves system failure. Not everyone in my family is keen to learn Windows administration and I think its unfair to blame them for visiting a website.

    One of the weakest things about NT-derivatives is that they prey on ignorance. For example, malicious spoofing requires the fake pop-up (or whatever) to appear familiar. Perhaps the fake uses icons that look familiar, phrases that sound familiar, and colours that match your NT theme. The Mac novice will see these and think "Why is there a dubious-looking Microsoft pop-up asking me to install updates for Windows on my Mac?" - Obviously the Mac novice is in a much stronger position than the Windows novice!

    So the NT community strikes back with extremely powerful anti-spyware, anti-malware, anti-virus, recovery applications and hardened firewalls. They started with a marginally slower system, they unintentionally slowed it down thanks to that fragmentation issue, and then they intentionally go and install bucket-loads of defensive applications that bring their top-end computer to a c-r-a-w-l.

    No amount of Spyware has ever slowed down a computer as much as installing one of the comprehensive NT-defending suits (McAfee, Norton or whatever..) and to make matters worse each such suite is better at defending against certain types of Malware so people install a second (Adaware, ZoneAlarm, etc.) :eek:

    You are all sooooo wrong... I'm not an Apple fanatic! I'm just being an independently-minded realist. If you would like to taste my bias, please install the free super-OS from Haiku.org, which is a product that I am contributing to :D

    You forgot Darwin! :mad: :lol:

    Good effort :goodjob:

    Sadly, however, all of these distributions lack a good display system. X11 was intended for remote desktop administration and it does that very well. The cost is that X11 has a longer message path for many display operations and this makes it less efficient for desktop applications.

    Furthermore, it lacks cycle-saving widgets. They put these things into competing desktop environments (KDE, Gnome, etc.) and applications written for one set of widgets won't work in another so you need multiple desktop environments and you soon begin to lose the beautiful efficiency that made the BSDs so sweet.

    MacOS does provide an answer to this. Apple have done an excellent job of standardising their display system. While it is closed-source and not free, that might be why its also standardised *shrug*

    The nearest open-source competitor is Haiku - check it out! :)

    That's like saying diarrhea is better than constipation. Both are :):):):).

    Most people do not have a choice.

    There are client-restricting applications for network security and these are often paired with an anti-virus suite. If your computer does not pass your fickle employer's-administrative desires, you might be denied access to your employer's WLAN :eek:

    People are typically Windows users so they download and install the required anti-virus package (which might be McAfee or some other big name). Their license is paid for by their employer.

    The same extends to most universities. Soon we will have no freedom at all! :cry:
     
  12. GVBN

    GVBN Emperor

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  13. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    awww, is that the best response you have to an unbiased discussion on computer processes? :)

    I have even left a glaring error in my argument for you to pick up on. I wouldn't want to win too easily ;)
     
  14. GVBN

    GVBN Emperor

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    You're literally posting from an iPad
     
  15. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    Actually, I posted from vBulletin *shrug*

    I don't have an iPad. What do you really think I'm using and why do you think that? :)
     
  16. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Windows 95 has been unsupported for nearly a decade, and when it was around, Mac OS looked like this:



    How many widespread vulnerabilities post-XP have been because of ActiveX or MS Office macro problems?

    No, I was pointing out that your opinions regarding windows seem to a decade or more out of date.
     
  17. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    I was using Win95 as a case study and for its neutrality. These are qualities that are necessary when seeking to mitigate silly emotional attachments :)

    Incidentally, that image also shows what MacOS looked like when MS-DOS was still sold in retail boxes. Most Win95 machines would be compared to MacOS 8 because Win95 really took off in 1997 with OSR2. Shall we move this to history forum? :eek:

    MacOS 1 to 9 are completely different to MacOS X. For example, 1 to 9 were coded in Pascal and in many decades of use Apple identified a total of 4 viruses. You could get that many viruses in one day by inserting one MS-DOS floppy disk into a shared computer. Those were the days :crazyeye:

    You have pointed out that Win95 and Windows 7 have differences and I won't argue with that. I was pointing out that the philosophy behind their use has not changed much. Specifically they mess up the filesystem and then try to correct the problem. What I avoided underscoring is that many other operating systems have drifted in the same direction :sad:

    You asked if there were recent massive infections in the post-XP era? There are so many viruses for NT systems that McAfee Anti Virus bundles a world map showing where millions infections are currently taking place :eek:

    When Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7 were each new - every user said they rocked. Every user claimed that the newest OS was rock stable and a huge improvement on the earlier unreliable OS. In other words, after a few years, everyone says the previous Windows OS is terrible!

    The same does not happen with Mac users. They tend to say the earlier version was good, but the newest is better. Sometimes they say bad things but as a general rule the memories are less critical :)

    However, the real moral of the virus-story is that using the common operating system is what increases exposure. It's much safer to be a free thinker and try a path that the viruses are not designed to cope with. Once you take a virus out of its preferred environment, it is dead. Anyone can do this by simply not providing the environment that it expects.
     
  18. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Since it's a totally unrelated OS that hasn't been relevant in any way for over a decade? Good choice.

    So what is your point? That NT-based systems are inherently insecure? I've been running NT-based systems for about a decade without AV software for years at a time, with a total of 0 infections.

    Yeah, if you go live as a hermit in the woods, you won't catch any people viruses either.
     
  19. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    Exactly.

    Unlike human beings, computers do not benefit from emotional social interaction.
     
  20. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    You're stretching the analogy too far, security through obscurity will never be as good for practical purposes as security by design.
     

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