Sadly, little will change.......

Story: 99.4 percent of malware is aimed at Windows usersTotal Replies: 5
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Sep 12, 2010
9:29 AM EDT
The problem is that this message will not reach the masses of Windows users; and even if it does, most of them won't understand. The reality as I perceive it, is that the majority of Windows users are computer illiterate ~ they can push the button and click the icon, but they have little idea as to what is going on. Secure behind their shields of antiviral software (well, that's what they are told so that's what they believe), they will continue to give credence to the security rubbish pushed out by Microsoft and its associated parasitic firms who produce the antiviral software.

Call me "Mr Cynical" if you like, but these figures suggest that Linux users are fairly safe because they seem to indicate that very, very little malware is aimed at FOSS. Smaller target ? Well, perhaps....but I tend to think it is because FOSS is a very, very difficult target to hit with any success. Moreover, the average FOSS user has a rather more sophisticated view of security compared to the average Microsoft user.

Finally, I hope there is a special place in the afterlife that is reserved for dealing with those writers (on other websites) who devote themselves to writing rave reviews about Microsoft while continuously refusing to admit that Windows has a fundamental security problem. The damage these writers do in their denial of the truth is enormous. Perhaps an eternity of removing viruses from constantly infected Windows computers might help them to change their viewpoint........but I doubt it.

Sep 12, 2010
1:02 PM EDT
Corporate users who have Windows desktops surely understand the message and surely understand that their IT personnel costs and productivity of their staff in general are impacted by Windows malware. Windows is also costly compared to Linux. Many run Linux in the server room. Ignorance does not explain why so many stick with Windows in the desktop.

I've talked to Windows users who do know, who aren't ignorant, yet fear of change and inertia rule. Better the devil they know. Many also see learning Linux as an effort just as they see a new version of Windows as an effort or a new application as an effort. It isn't an effort they are willing to make. It just isn't what is important to them.

Smaller target? Nope. The server room infrastructure is a juicier target that can do much more damage if compromised. The server room is dominated by Linux and UNIX, not Windows. Not only is that target more difficult to penetrate but it is better protected externally (i.e.: firewalls) while home computers are often completely unprotected. You can lock down a Windows machine but most people don't know how and can't be bothered to learn.

Sep 12, 2010
5:20 PM EDT
Quoting:You can lock down a Windows machine but most people don't know how and can't be bothered to learn.

Also a locked down Windows machine is more effort to maintain. It's simply easier all round not to do it.

Sep 12, 2010
5:26 PM EDT
Agreed Caitlyn.....I was deliberately thinking more of the general user rather than the business firm. Actually, you are absolutely right in suggesting the server room and to keep my post above short, I ignored things like the internet and Google which are enormous Linux based targets but rarely seem to be compromised, or at least that is my understanding.

I also think you are right in suggesting fear of change and inertia play a part in retaining Microsoft on computers, but there is another aspect too: "vested interests". This is especially rife in government circles, or at least that is the case here in Australia. We now have proof that Microsoft oriented people get into power in the IT management and purchasing sections of the various governments and ensure that their "tainted" advice is the only message heard by the political decision makers. The results are obvious and ONLY Microsoft and/or proprietary software is taught to children in the educational system; given that situation, it is no wonder that the next generation chooses to stay with the 'devil they know', mostly because they know no other. The pre-installed monopoly of Redmond also plays an enormous part.

But ultimately, it all boils down to the virus writers attacking a soft and very wide target. They know XP, Vista and Win7 have a huge population, they know that most of them (as you say) cannot be bothered to learn how to lock a Windows computer down and they are also aware that most of these users (as I remarked) are computer illiterate, so that if their computer is infected they may not even recognise the fact until it ceases to operate completely. It is a severe problem and part of it might be overcome by teaching about viruses and malware to the children in the schools.....Previously warned is at least a better option than no information at all.

Sep 12, 2010
5:38 PM EDT
Quoting:You can lock down a Windows machine but most people don't know how and can't be bothered to learn.

Quoting:Also a locked down Windows machine is more effort to maintain. It's simply easier all round not to do it.

A sufficiently locked down Win* system is useless to an average user. You may be able to use it as a server, but not a user box. On my last contract, their corp. support laptop *only* used the corporate VPN. It was unusable in every other way. USB key, not authorised. Net access, only through their servers.

The only way I can stand this is my work is just an ssh/PuTTY out to a working box.

It did boot live CDs, so it wasn't a total loss. :-)

Sep 12, 2010
6:50 PM EDT
Sadly, approachability is often more important than security. That's the only excuse I can think of, why ATM's would run Windows.

For home-users, I finally found a nice way to phrase it (I hope):

People use Linux because it's Linux. People use Windows despite it's Windows.

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