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Cybercriminals Shifting Focus To Non-Windows OSes

CmdrTaco posted more than 2 years ago | from the diversification-strategy dept.

Crime 265

Orome1 writes "In a major cybercrime turning point, scammers have begun shifting their focus away from Windows-based PCs to other operating systems and platforms, including smart phones, tablet computers, and mobile platforms in general, according to the a new Cisco report. The report also finds that 2010 was the first year in the history of the Internet that spam volume decreased, that cybercriminals are investing heavily in 'money muling,' and that users continue to fall prey to myriad forms of trust exploitation."

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Thank God.... (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939742)

Will they please target the Linux platform so we can prove once and for all to all the Windows lovers that the underlying architecture protects better than the Windows design?

Re:Thank God.... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34939786)

That's not really as true anymore, though. I'm not sure if this is the article I read on it, but http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/index.cfm?newsId=3235498

Also, even if the underlying architecture protects better... you can't protect people from their own stupidity. They will *absolutely* find ways to infect their machines with malware even if it requires becoming root.

Fucking users.

Re:Thank God.... (0)

PYRILAMPES (609544) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939934)

Based on "Insert random vague reference to a possibility that criminals avoid linux do to inaccurate user statististics" then its obvious we shuold abandon linux immediately... remove it from microsofts corporate servers and all other infrastructure servers. Remove China's accepted os and all buy win7 phones with a 1 gig data limit.

That's part of the protection. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940010)

They will *absolutely* find ways to infect their machines with malware even if it requires becoming root.

The more steps the user has to complete, the more likely that they will fail to install the malware on their system.

90% success with a single step is only 81% success with two steps (of 90% success each).

Three steps (90% success each) is only 73% success.

And that's not even counting the various worms that won't work because the systems do not ship with services listening for them by default.

You will NEVER stop trojans ... but you can reduce their number significantly just by requiring more steps for their installation.

Re:That's part of the protection. (4, Interesting)

gazbo (517111) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940206)

Best part of a decade ago there was a Windows email virus (forget which one, sorry) that did rather well for itself. In order to avoid detection, it spread by email in a password protected zip file. In order to become infected, the user had to open the zip by typing in the randomly generated password given in the email, extract the executable within, then run it.

It was then that I realised there will never be a technical solution that makes more than a dent in malware infections.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940234)

Yup. And you have absolutely nailed the refrain that the Linux community will embrace when the platform is compromised: "Hey Linux is FINE. The user community is at fault. Now that there are so many troglodytes thinking they are admins, Linux is getting a bad reputation!"

Re:Thank God.... (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940436)

Come on. Anyone with any real security sense has been saying that all along. A basic firewall and some common sense is all that's needed to keep a Windows system secure from the average attacker. Meanwhile, the SSH dictionary attacks I get daily indicate that enough Linux/Unix users have sufficiently bad passwords to make it worthwhile.

Re:Thank God.... (5, Funny)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939796)

Not until you get an equal number of people using Linux who are determined to see the dancing bunnies.

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Witmar (1844282) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941104)

the problem is that exploiting linux doesn't require breaking a complex lock, since you can view the source code you just have to look through and find the weak spot. So it is less enjoyable for hacker, there is a certain joy we receive in making an electronic device bend to our will after hours of coding.

Re:Thank God.... (4, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939806)

What makes you think they haven't?

What you've described would be completely unmeasurable - because the only way you can properly measure exploits is when they are successful. There is no way to distinguish between failing to exploit Linux and not attempting an exploit it at all.

Re:Thank God.... (4, Funny)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939812)

Stallman? Is that you?

Re:Thank God.... (5, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939930)

Yes, Richard Stallman is, to his close friends, also known as Lumpy.

Re:Thank God.... (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939976)

Also known as, the 8th and forgotten dwarf.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940394)

There were 13 dwarves.

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940510)

And can you name the 8th?

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940588)

Hungry. What do you think happened to 9-13?

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940662)

lumpy...

weren't you paying attention!?

Re:Thank God.... (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941334)

Henry.

Re:Thank God.... (-1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940114)

No, and neither am I. But he's right. I noticed that TFA actually says (emphasis mine) "In a major cybercrime turning point, scammers have begun shifting their focus away from Windows-based PCs to other operating systems and platforms, including smart phones, tablet computers, and mobile platforms in general, according to the Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report."

It's pure FUD. Yes, they're targeting phones now, but I've seen no indication of Linux or Mac viruses, and they give no indication in TFA that other PC OSes are being targeted. And even if they were, you'd not have the problems inherent in the Windows platform. This article is either sensationalism seeking or merely bad writing.

Linux users are of course more savvy than most Windows users, but there are (I think) more than a few nerds using Windows, but look at Macs -- not a nerd platform. Most people using macs are in the creative arts. One would think that with the millions of Apple computers out there someone would write an Apple virus, but guess what? Ain't none.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940280)

I think you've answered that one yourself. Everyone knows that artists don't have any money to steal.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940290)

Why do you lie? Will you accept the truth once and for all?, THERE IS MALWARE FOR MAC AND FOR LINUX BASED OSes. Not as many as for Windows but that's just because both OSes hold like 10% of the market share, but, you keep saying that, it won't change reality

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940458)

That must be why there's traditionally so much malware for Linux web servers, which hold the dominant share of the market. Oh, wait...

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940554)

And there is malware running on linux based servers, you are just too much of a fanboy to understand it

Re:Thank God.... (1)

CrossChris (806549) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940908)

Not that anyone else other than you has seen!

Re:Thank God.... (1)

mesanchez (1829880) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941082)

Hahahaha, suuuure, my god you are fanboys, can you just accept that none piece of software is 100% secure? There isn't such thing.
I'm not saying that Linux OSes suck, i fact i used to have Ubuntu and Windows 7 as dual boot, i think it's pretty good, but what this guy is saying is bullshit.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940754)

Thanks, Ballmer! I'm going to run down to the computing store and purchase a safe, closed source, expensive, fear based product right this fucking minute... wait, I'm going to finish my coconut juice first, oh then I have to fiddle with some linuxy bits here in Solaris land. Oh crap, I forgot I need to get a van and move some other junk tonight. Oh, then I need to get some medication for my royal wedding fever... Perhaps next week, FOR SURE!!1!

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940938)

Nice comment dude, nice arguments. Fanboys, aghh

Re:Thank God.... (1)

CrossChris (806549) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940962)

THERE IS MALWARE FOR MAC AND FOR LINUX BASED OSes

Not in the real world, there isn't. The only actual virus, trojan and malware infestations in the wild are on Windows machines. It's just another monopoly that MS have (and are welcome to!). Intelligent computer users don't use Windows.

Re:Thank God.... (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941314)

You're right, there is. Less for both OSes combined than the number of Windows viruses created in a single day. None of which are in circulation.

So it is fair to say there is no malware for MacOS or Linux in the same way it is fair to say there is no smallpox. It's in the history books and there's probably a sample in a vault somewhere, but that's about it.

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940506)

Linux users are of course more savvy than most Windows users

Clearly you've never had to deal with the Ubuntu masses.

Re:Thank God.... (2)

eugene2k (1213062) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940314)

Can't be. He wrote "Linux" without the GNU/ prefix.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939908)

Look. I support Linux as much as the next guy. Hell, I use it on two of my four systems. That being said, I hold no illusions that Linux would remain as secure as it is today were its use as widespread as Windows...nor would it remain as secure once you get Grandpa Joe and Soccer Mom Jennifer using it daily (i.e. super widespread adoption, increasing the number of people targeting it.)

I'm not saying Linux isn't secure...I'm saying there is no way you can compare the security of an OS that barely holds 1% of the market to the most widely used OS on the entire planet. Linux hasn't been nearly as challenged as Windows, and as such any claims regarding its security when in extremely widespread use would be speculative at best and irresponsible at worst.

Re:Thank God.... (2)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940068)

"Barely holds 1% of the market"

Really? I'd like to know where you get your stats from. According to numerous sources, including W3's OS Statistics ( http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp [w3schools.com] ) DESKTOP linux users number about 5%. and that doesn't include the VAST number of servers.

Linux in the server market outnumbers windows. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems [wikipedia.org] in the last few months "Linux/unix and variants" passed 50% of ALL server use.

with most of the people in Internet Security working on a platform that's NOT windows, there's good reason it's as well secured as it is. (that and anybody can find/fix a bug in the open source world. but that's another topic entirely ;)

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940110)

1%, 5%...it's still no where near the number of Windows desktops out in the wild.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940822)

Really? I'd like to know where you get your stats from. According to numerous sources, including W3's OS Statistics ( http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp [w3schools.com] ) DESKTOP linux users number about 5%. and that doesn't include the VAST number of servers.

W3schools is hardly representative for the average Internet user (it might have been 15 years ago). Linux 0.98% and falling [netmarketshare.com]

Re:Thank God.... (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941280)

Because there is absolutely now way that an organization of web developers will have a higher proportion of linux users. Please. Wikimedia said 2% of their traffic was linux users, and I think that's a much more fair sample to draw from. Either way I'm happy that it's getting traction in the desktop world. I run mostly windows stuff, but I have a CentOS file server and a linux mint laptop. http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/linux-desktop-market-share-small-no-matter-ho [networkworld.com]

Re:Thank God.... (5, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940146)

Apache holds 50% of the webserver market, often on Linux. Much more valuable targets than a generic PC.

Re:Thank God.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940336)

Apache holds 50% of the webserver market, often on Linux. Much more valuable targets than a generic PC.

No it is not. It is a professionally admined system that is outnumbered one to millions by clients where my malware will live happily undected for a long time, and where a couple of clean-ups - that is highly likely on the Apache server -- won't affect the malware network at all.

And that people still thinks not running as root/admin is hugely important in this picture is strange 1) most malware lives quite happily in user space 2) besides social enginering to elevate, many silent escalation exploits exists for both Linux and osx 3) if you are conscious about security, you can't just wipe the user if you have a compromised system, you have no way of knowing if it hasn't been escalated outside user space.

Re:Thank God.... (1, Troll)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940956)

No it is not. It is a professionally admined system that is outnumbered one to millions by clients where my malware will live happily undected for a long time, and where a couple of clean-ups - that is highly likely on the Apache server -- won't affect the malware network at all.

Yeah. That Linux server wouldn't be very valuable as a long-term botnet member. About the only useful information you could get out of such a server would be the database system it's connected to and all the credit card information it processes - hardly even worth bothering with.

Seriously: did you think about that at all before posting, or did you just click Submit and hope for the best?

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941070)

About the only useful information you could get out of such a server would be the database system it's connected to and all the credit card information it processes - hardly even worth bothering with.

I think a better question would be did you think about that at all before posting? I'd say gaining all the credit card information a server processes would be very worth bothering with.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941364)

You're not much one for sarcasm, are you.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940918)

Oh, you think the main effort of the douchebag malware writers are out there is data on webservers... How quaint.

It's not - it's botnets.

Re:Thank God.... (2)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941018)

But how do you steal my credit card and bank details by hacking some random webserver?

More to the point, the vast majority of Windows exploits are trojans. Those webservers are (mostly) maintained by sysadmins unlikely to execute the "shocking pics.zip.exe" file someone emailed them unexpectedly.

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34941080)

Apache holds 50% of the webserver market, often on Linux. Much more valuable targets than a generic PC.

The market share numbers for 2010 actually state almost 60%. Apache gained over 10% according to some surveys.

Re:Thank God.... (2)

mjm1231 (751545) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940642)

Purely anecdotal, but I purchased a netbook for my 13 year old daughter about a year ago. It came with Windows 7 starter edition. I believe the very first thing we did was install an antivirus program, most likely AVG or Avast. After owning it for two days, it was infected with a virus, so I installed Ubuntu netbook edition. There were a few minor glitches (wireless drivers required a patch, adding new fonts is so convoluted that I had to create a script for that) but otherwise she has used it without complaint or incident ever since.

So on that one machine, for that one user, Windows averages an infection every 2 days, Linux never.

Re:Thank God.... (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940790)

Again though, you're comparing a widely-used operating system to a barely-used operating system (from a desktop perspective, at least.) The number of people targeting Linux PCs is quite likely to be exponentially smaller that the number of people targeting a Windows PC.

Re:Thank God.... (0)

CrossChris (806549) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941050)

Your statistics must be straight from Microsoft - they bear no relation to reality! Why do 90 of the top 100 websites on the planet use Linux as their OS? Why do another 6 use BSD? Why do only 4 use Windows / IIS?

Linux is tested against attack much more rigorously and extensively than Windows ever could be - just by virtue of its predominance as a web server OS. MS just can't compete in secure computing (they don't really want to).

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941256)

I was referring exclusively to the desktop/personal use space...hence why the word "server" was found nowhere in my OP.

If you'd like to try to argue that Linux is even remotely as widespread in people's homes as Windows...well, good luck with that.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940004)

Uh they do take over Linux servers regularly. The architecture isn't better.

As for desktops, if you somehow get Joe Schmoe to run an arbitrary executable[1] on either platform, Joe Schmoe's confidential data will be at risk, or his machine can be turned into a spam sending zombie. So no big difference. Whether the executable gets root/admin is irrelevant for many criminal purposes.

Linux servers tend to be more useful targets than Linux desktops. I also wonder whether there are more Linux servers than Linux desktops ;).

[1] Doesn't have to be an executable in the chmod sense of the word- perl Makefile.PL on a malicious Makefile.PL will still get you screwed.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940016)

One thing Windows, equipped with Zone Alarm, does *MUCH BETTER* than Linux is to allow the user to control which programs are allowed to access the internet. In my experience that is the single best way to detect malware as most modern malware wants to get out to the 'net either to get it's real payload or to phone home with stolen information etc.

Once I've set up a user's PC I walk them through adding their programs that require day to day internet access then I tell them if an unknown program attempts to connect to the internet (and gets the Zone Alarm popup confirmation dialogue to appear) then if they're not sure what the program is, or why the prompt has appeared, don't let it connect. If they need help identifying the program they can always ask me.

This single feature is the best way of detecting most modern malware (in which I include all the crap that wants to periodically phone home to "check for updates") Linux's continued failure to provide this functionality means I still can't recommend it as a desktop O/S for my users.

All Linux's design does is make it harder to root the box. Once it's worthwhile to do so you'll start seeing huge numbers of user accounts that have been hijacked and with it's default "all program can access the internet without the users express permission" firewall.

This *WILL* become a problem when Linux desktops become popular and we'll start seeing Linux users having their data stolen, running bot nets (under their own account) etc. etc. You don't need root to do damage unless you require full control of the box.

A desktop O/S should now allow *ANY* programs to access the internet without the users permission (o.k. maybe DNS can be allowed from the word go etc. etc. etc.) This is a lesson that should already have been learned.

Re:Thank God.... (2)

xemit (1037320) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940204)

Linux already has that capability and has had it for years in the form of Selinux [wikipedia.org] . The firewall that comes with Windows can already do that without the help of ZoneAlarm.

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940598)

No it doesn't. SELinux works nothing like Zone Alarm. SELinux is secure but it takes more configuration and doesn't have the "promt the user" functionality that is required.

And the firewall that comes with Windows allows all outward connections by default.

Only Zone Alarm provides the feature where a dialogue is presented to the user when a program tries to make an outward connection. White lists, ACLs etc. do not provide the simple, easily understood functionality, that the users I service require.

Trust me I've looked at all the Linux offerings and nothing is a suitable "drop in" replacement. I'd love to be proved wrong but...

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940448)

ZoneAlarm? Really? That's a really poor example. Best software firewall for windows that is out there is Comodo. It has been for years. It's a bonus that it comes with a free Internet security package for use in homes, schools, and small businesses. /free advert off

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34941166)

Comodo ? buggy nagware. More like commode.

Re:Thank God.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940520)

and when the malware uses a system component to call home? It's not hard to use IE for that... This is the reason ZoneAlarm turns to snake oil as soon as most people start to run it (and malware writers need to work around it -- currently they can't be arsed to do even that) .

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Lord Jester (88423) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940866)

The problem with ZA and other Windows firewalls is the users install stuff regularly that requires internet access and get in the habit of allowing the connection. It often becomes so frequent that it becomes Pavlovian. Users see the box and click Allow without thinking.

The same will happen with Linux. With the desktop variant, they will see a dialog asking for their password to install and do it without thought.

As much as it pains me to say, Windows has gotten better. My Windows machines stay relatively clean without much in the way of intervention.

IMHO, Linux is still better, but it is partially due to the users.

As far as I am concerned, 90% of all virus and malware infections, regardless of the platform, is PEBCAK!

Re:Thank God.... (1)

kbielefe (606566) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941356)

Maybe you should do some research before making claims. AppArmor is included by default on Ubuntu and allows application level internet permissions. Granted, it is configured very liberally by default, and I'm not aware of an easy GUIfied way for end users to grant exceptions. That's a plus in my book, though. Any system administrator is free to lock it down as tight as they want, and if the general populace of Linux users starts running untrusted software willy nilly instead of using the package manager, a strengthening of defaults is only an update away.

Also, AppArmor handles the reverse functionality very well, which is arguably more important: software that is allowed to connect to the internet can be restricted in other ways. For example, I can set up a folder that is completely invisible to internet connected applications for storing sensitive data in.

You already proved you're wrong (ANDROID = Linux) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940268)

"Will they please target the Linux platform so we can prove once and for all to all the Windows lovers that the underlying architecture protects better than the Windows design?" - by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday January 20, @10:13AM (#34939742) Homepage

ANDROID TROJAN:

http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1930156&cid=34713952 [slashdot.org]

Since ANDROID is Linux, you've already proven yourself wrong...

What's happening on ANDROID phones (and ANDROID is a Linux derived OS), per the URL above, is only a "portent of things to come", IF Linux ever manages to get more users than does Windows on the PC platform.

I.E.-> Malware makers/hackers-crackers (etc.)? They're like pickpockets!

E.G.-> Pickpockets don't just victimize a "crowd of one" or a few only, but instead, they opt to go to train stations, subways, crowded malls or streets (where a LOT of possible victims are, so they have greater "attack surface area" - this is like Windows on PC's: MORE USERS = MORE ATTACK SURFACE AREA from a SINGLE CODEBASE FOR ATTACK... & THAT is why Windows is more attacked (more users, period, by far)).

Microsoft's getting their "bootcamp" here, their training & fixing up points of attack vs. these malware makers... Linux has YET to see that, & if it ever does? Same shit will happen to it, as is happening to Windows lately!

E.G.-> MacOS X, once it started getting more users? It too, began to be more attacked, period... the same will hold true for Linux, mark my words (IF, again, it EVER makes it to the "most used/top #1 spot").

APK

P.S.=> After all: It's NOT like Linux's design precludes its webbrowsers &/or email programs that use HTML from using javascript, with its SAME BUSTED "DOM" & ALL as it is on Windows (same on Linux), & that's where the majority of attacks come from nowadays - attacking weak, scriptable apps (Office Suites &/or Webbrowsers + email come to mind, quickly)... apk

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940570)

First, the report is not principally about platforms targeted but about types of criminal scams. But the secondary aspect is the one sensationalized by the reporter. Second, there is a big difference between "target" and "victim lying upside down on the floor waving its legs feebly in the air".

To be more precise : Which Linux ? (2)

DrYak (748999) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940608)

Yeah, but just one question :

Will they please target the Linux platform

Which of the gazillion of different flavour of Linux should they target ?~
And on which CPU : the traditional Intel-derived architecture ? The ARM on which it seems to be selling like hot cakes ?~
Oh, you meant that diversity is actually part of the Linux' strategy to be more resistant ?!?

More seriously :
Serious software developer are constantly complaining that it's hard to write closed-source binary blobs that target the whole Linux nebula.
(As opposed to open-source, which is easier to custom patch and compile, and can be adapted to various flavour by the distribution package authors or 3rd parties).
And that's regular software which is supposed to only exhibit normal and usual behaviour.

Now just imagine the mess that would be trying to write trojans that have to rely on exploits and other dirty hacks, in order to gain the sweet "Root" privilege and to stay stealthy.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941138)

Uh. Please tell me how we'd know that they had targeted a Linux machine? I appreciate your idea but are you certain you thought it through? For surely the only notice we'd have of their work were if they succeeded in exploiting it. This conundrum is surely similar to that of proving God exists. Faith in security like faith in God kinda revolves around the notion of "no news is good news" wherein if you do not hear of exploits your faith may remain strong, but hear of one and the house comes tumbling down.

This quandary is especially vexing. For we know that Linux is deployed the world over and in ever increasing numbers. We have never heard of a Linux system being exploited. This naturally bolsters our faith, yet like faith in God, sharing our faith in Linux security is met with equal ridicule and skepticism. Oh why do heathen believe in these wicked pretenders, these idols made of spaghetti code? Why are they so easily fooled into parting with their gold for indulgences, these so called anti-virals. If only they did not bed prostitutes, but married the one that was free, faithful and true they would not catch fleas. "Come live in the land of milk and honey" you say, but "nay" is their reply. For you see, they cannot, the world beyond their nose and there is plenty of refuse on which to dine in their gutter they call their home.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941152)

I don't know if this is really true. After an exploit of e.g. Firefox or Flash player, an attacker can just put a keylogger into my session. If they also want root, they only need to wait for me to type my password into a terminal emulator. It's not exactly what I would call secure.

Re:Thank God.... (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941176)

It's been targeted for years. Just not on the desktop. Linux's largest problem is MISCONFIGURATION by incompetent admins (and there are a lot of them as it gains in popularity ... I inherited a bunch of that responsibility recently). Windows exploits, OTOH, are largely attacks against problems with the software itself. The only thing a competent admin can do in that situation is wait for the patch, or hope there is another mitigation.

Someone who RTFA (2)

DMiax (915735) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939818)

Could you tell me how a *scam* targets an OS? I thought the Nigerian Prince thing was cross platform...

Re:Someone who RTFA (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939936)

Scam includes schemes with dishonest elements. My best example for you is the one a few stories back about hackers embedding code into job interview resumes. The results differ depending on the OS "targetted". If you are running Xfce on Slackware with ultra custom mods derived from the Species 8472 from Star Trek scriptwriter manuals, you'll laugh at malware.

If you're a typical overworked cube dweller running Win2000 you'll get hosed.

Re:Someone who RTFA (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941190)

Scam includes schemes with dishonest elements. My best example for you is the one a few stories back about hackers embedding code into job interview resumes. The results differ depending on the OS "targetted". If you are running Xfce on Slackware with ultra custom mods derived from the Species 8472 from Star Trek scriptwriter manuals, you'll laugh at malware.

If you're a typical overworked cube dweller running Win2000 you'll get hosed.

If you are a typical cube dweller running Win2000 you already are hosed.

That is strictly the execution part of the scam... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941320)

And it has been fine-tuned towards the desired victim.

If the scam was targeting people running ultra custom mods derived from the Species 8472, they would simply make specific adjustments.
And only in that last execution part of the scam. The entire play up to that point stays the same.

And besides the fact that "running ultra custom mods derived from the Species 8472" relies on security through obscurity, let us not forget that Species 8472 were defeated through use of malware.
I.e. Borg nanoprobes specifically programmed to mimic their "electrochemical signatures, so that they could evade detection by Species 8472's immune system". [memory-alpha.org]

Funny turn of events... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34939860)

Yay, it's safe to use Windows again!

Android app store now rejecting apps (2, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939862)

I see in the news that the android app store is now rejecting apps. The apps rejected were ones that downloaded other apps. Thus they were vectors for invasive software. Or at least potentially so. Likewise Moto is locking down droid with a re-incarnating system rom and apoptotic immune system. Apple has been heavily criticized for it's app store restrictions. But to me all these moves are a great idea. I don't want my phone to be so versatile that I have constantly be vigilent. Someday I might work up the nerve to let it function as a credit card. I defintely want to see years of virus/torjan free operation before I try that.

If I wanted a toy I could program as I wish I'd buy one of those. But please let there be some severly locked down phones before we all get telphonically transmitted diseases.

Re:Android app store now rejecting apps (2)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939912)

Rejecting apps because they're potential malware vectors (or outright malware) - Fine
Rejecting apps because they offend your delicate sensibilities or the menu bar is the wrong shade of teal, at least for this week - Less Fine

Re:Android app store now rejecting apps (4, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940006)

I don't see any problem with the Android App Store restrictions because you can choose to install packages from other sources if you choose. So, if you like feeling safe, don't mess with it. If you don't like the restriction, enable out of store installations.

Motorola's eFuse, on the other hand, seem nothing more than a way for them to control your phone; I don't see how it protects you.

Re:Android app store now rejecting apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940788)

>Motorola's eFuse, on the other hand, seem nothing more than a way for them to control your phone; I don't see how it protects you.

If somebody roots your phone, it will refuse to boot.

I still don't want it, and there are certainly ways for malware to abuse it (Either just install a program, instead of altering the OS, or intentionally brick it to need a restore as a DoS attack), but it's not entirely without merit.

Re:Android app store now rejecting apps (2)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940150)

I don't necessarily see the comparison between android locking down its app store to potential malware versus the Apple app store locking down its store because they don't like apps that are in "poor taste". One is clear cut censorship and the other is meant as preventitive security measure.

Re:Android app store now rejecting apps (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940490)

If I wanted a toy I could program as I wish I'd buy one of those. But please let there be some severly locked down phones before we all get telphonically transmitted diseases.

Well, I for one, would still want the prerogative to install whatever from wherever.

Sure, a "locked down", malware-free repository is a good thing, but there is no need to restrict my freedom to fuck up with 3:rd party software if I want to.

If I want to be safe, I'll just not use any unaudited third party apps.

Re:Android app store now rejecting apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940860)

before we all get telephonically transmitted diseases.

Major outbreaks of phonerea and syphiliSMS?

We can come out of hiding! (1)

puterg33k (1920022) | more than 2 years ago | (#34939890)

It's safe to use Windows again! :)

Patched vulnerabilities vs real-world exploits (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940196)

The CISCO report highlights growth in Apple's reported patched vulnerabilities. But it seems to me that a theoretic vulnerability is not the same as an actual real-world exploit. This is particularly true when there's a zero-day exploit that causes 'badguy code' to run. If that code runs in a non-privileged account and therefore can't accomplish its intent, does that count as an actual problem?

I'm not trying here to push the "Macs are better" argument, but rather explore the question of how we measure vulnerabilities, exploits, etc. And of course, there's the "decidability question" that others have mentioned: How do you know when an attempt to exploit a vulnerability -fails-?

So maybe we need 3 measures:
    vulnerabilities
    attempted exploits
    successful exploits
A lot of people have argued (the "antibody" approach) that it's better to focus on recovering from/mitigating an exploit, rather than believing we can remove all vulnerabilities. Would our current measures show the success (or failure) of that approach?

Cybercriminals? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940216)

"Cybercriminals Shifting Focus To Non-Windows OSes"
Ugh... I've been playing too much Shadowrun apparently, because this headline brought on all sorts of odd imagery.

Macs are still no mans land (3, Insightful)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940222)

Common myth still spreading around that macs do not have viruses. Majority of its users still do not have anti-virus software of any kind.

The pioneer who goes in first, strikes the gold.

Re:Macs are still no mans land (2)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940416)

This has been the case throughout the whole of the last ten years and we've been eagerly awaiting said pioneer for at least 4-5 of them. Still nothing. I'm starting to suspect that there is actually no gold and that the only ones who haven't figured it out yet are some of the folks on Slashdot.

Re:Macs are still no mans land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940480)

Back on the mac classic it was a 'interesting' game we would play. Start with a 'clean' floppy. By the end of the week of using the different computers in the labs at school how many viri would you have on that 1 floppy. Norton was the scorecard. Macs used to be *THE* playground for viri writers. They moved onto greener pastures of windows. The new 'green pastures' *will* be those millions of un-upgradable routers/phones/tvs that have linux built in and the manufactures no longer support. There is a massive number of these devices out there. All plugged in 24/7...

Re:Macs are still no mans land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940528)

Myth? Name one.

Re:Macs are still no mans land (2)

Alrescha (50745) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940532)

"Common myth still spreading around that macs do not have viruses."

Myth? Please point to a current Mac virus.

A.

Re:Macs are still no mans land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34941016)

"Common myth still spreading around that macs do not have viruses."

Myth? Please point to a current Mac virus.

A.

Please see list: http://www.iantivirus.com/threats/

Re:Macs are still no mans land (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941270)

Does a trojan count?

securemac.com [securemac.com] should probably be told that they are completely useless, as there is nothing for them to fight against.

Re:Macs are still no mans land (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941380)

Myth? Please point to a current Mac virus.

Here [about.com] , here [about.com] , here [about.com] , and here [wikipedia.org] .

I'm sure there are more, but I think I've answered your request.

Re:Macs are still no mans land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940594)

Common myth still spreading around that macs do not have viruses. Majority of its users still do not have anti-virus software of any kind.

The pioneer who goes in first, strikes the gold.

Agree with the myth being a myth (JFGI [google.com] ). But with just 5% Mac marketshare [netmarketshare.com] I wouldn't exactly call it gold :)

Re:Macs are still no mans land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34941008)

How does linking to a Google search that doesn't list any viruses debunk a myth? (Note there has been malware, several trojans, just nothing really spread very far and no viruses I know of). As for the value, more and more malware is harvesting account information for online services and CC and banking info going through the machine. Given that Macs (like several other computer makers) sell primarily on the higher end and are concentrated in wealthy parts of the world, this results in more valuable info to harvest. 5% of the high end, without any competition from other trojans would be lucrative indeed.

Re:Macs are still no mans land (2)

andrewagill (700624) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940614)

Why not just install Sophos' free version for Mac?

Re:Macs are still no mans land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940890)

Why not just install Sophos' free version for Mac?

Is that a good virus to install?

Re:Macs are still no mans land (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940950)

Pics or it didn't happen. I have yet to see an actual OS X virus in the wild.

Trojans, sure. Anytime you have L-series users, you'll have trojans. But an actual virus?

Show us what you got.

Re:Macs are still no mans land (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940978)

Common myth still spreading around that macs do not have viruses.

Other common myths: water is wet and the sun is bright.

Re:Macs are still no mans land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34941246)

This is the oldest one I could find. They may have been the first, but then again they may have also just been the first to be caught.

OSXleapa [sophos.com]

Re:Macs are still no mans land (2)

alien9 (890794) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941354)

a couple weeks ago I was told by Mom that her Mac had got a 'virus'... I was amused until went there and saw that actually it was sophos antivirus for mac which had detected windows malware she downloaded from rogue email... lol

Deep in the Microsoft War Room: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34940430)

"Mr. Balmer, we must not allow a malware gap!"

trust exploitation? (1)

andrewagill (700624) | more than 2 years ago | (#34940534)

Are they talking about confidence games? As in, ``It's called a confidence game. Why? Because you give me your confidence? No. Because I give you mine''?

I'm not sure why Cisco feels the need to invent a new term for something that has been commonly understood since 1849...

2011, year of the mac virus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34941098)

2011, year of the mac virus!

Come on people, you knew it was coming.

Now its going to come like a porn star, spraying all its infected goodness all over apples.

Identifying phone viruses (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 2 years ago | (#34941208)

At least on my Windows PC, I have enough experience and knowledge dealing with Viruses and such that I have a reasonably good idea if my computer is infected. Common sense, using the right apps and such help reduce the threat.

I don't have the experience or knowledge of handling this with my Smartphone (Blackberry). I'm more concerned given the sensitivity of the data that I exchange on this platform - personal and business calls as well as e-mail that I don't know what adequate protections to use on the phone. I've disabled Javascript on the phone for web browsing, don't access Flash content and I've only installed a few official apps from BB or dependable vendors.

What's worse if the general public that aren't very Tech or computer savvy. Presumably they are just as vulnerable or perhaps more so. My cousin who's a programmer has installed over 50 apps on his iPhone. I've read of people installing 100's of apps from the iStore or ditto with Jailbreaked phones.

I'd be curious to know how difficult it would be to get rid of a virus or spyware on common smartphones since the OS isn't always reinstallable and I'm not sure if 'resetting' the phone to default values might install the original OS.

Away from Windows-based PCs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34941348)

...to Windows-based devices. Wonderful! \o/

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