Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Sysadmins taking brunt of blame

Filed under
Security

Sysadmins are taking a big chunk of the blame for the latest worm attacks on Windows - said to have already infected 250,000 machines.

An online poll by security company Sophos had revealed that 20 percent of businessmen feel that the man dealing with the problem - the system administrator - is most to blame, for not patching systems fast enough.

The only consolation is that 35 percent of the 1,000 people polled blame Microsoft for the attacks, and a surprisingly low 45 percent, the virus writers themselves.

The attacks exploit a weakness in the plug-and-play element of Windows 2000 to attempt to gain control of PCs.

"What is most surprising is that so many people blame Microsoft for having the software flaw in the first place. Many respondents appear to be incredibly frustrated by the constant need to roll-out emergency patches across their organisations," commented Graham Cluley of Sophos.

An unknown number of businesses around the world have been hit by worms attempting to exploit the vulnerability, including, embarrassingly, a number of well-known media outlets such as CNN, ABC and The New York Times.

Sophos said it had detected another five such worms in the past 12 hours, taking the total number known to attempt exploits to 17 in all.

This has all happened at a time when Microsoft would rather users moved away from Windows 2000, evens so far as to remove mainstream support from the OS on June 30th of this year. Despite its evident unpopularity inside Microsoft, a recent survey discovered the uncomfortable fact that half of corporates still use it widely, four years after the introduction of its supposed replacement, XP.

Another recent survey by Sophos discovered that only 28 percent of those polled rated Microsoft as their most trusted operating system. Forty-seven percent reckoned Linux and Unix were more secure.

By John E. Dunn
Techworld

More in Tux Machines

Linux Mint 18.1 Is The Best Mint Yet

The hardcore Linux geeks won’t read this article. They’ll skip right past it… They don’t like Linux Mint much. There’s a good reason for them not to; it’s not designed for them. Linux Mint is for folks who want a stable, elegant desktop operating system that they don’t want to have to constantly tinker with. Anyone who is into Linux will find Mint rather boring because it can get as close to the bleeding edge of computer technology. That said, most of those same hardcore geeks will privately tell you that they’ve put Linux Mint on their Mom’s computer and she just loves it. Linux Mint is great for Mom. It’s stable, offers everything she needs and its familiar UI is easy for Windows refugees to figure out. If you think of Arch Linux as a finicky, high-performance sports car then Linux Mint is a reliable station wagon. The kind of car your Mom would drive. Well, I have always liked station wagons myself and if you’ve read this far then I guess you do, too. A ride in a nice station wagon, loaded with creature comforts, cold blowing AC, and a good sound system can be very relaxing, indeed. Read more

Make Gnome 3 more accessible for everyday use

Gnome 3 is a desktop environment that was created to fix a problem that did not exist. Much like PulseAudio, Wayland and Systemd, it's there to give developers a job, while offering no clear benefit over the original problem. The Gnome 2 desktop was fast, lithe, simple, and elegant, and its replacement is none of that. Maybe the presentation layer is a little less busy and you can search a bit more quickly, but that's about as far as the list of advantages goes, which is a pretty grim result for five years of coding. Despite my reservation toward Gnome 3, I still find it to be a little bit more suitable for general consumption than in the past. Some of the silly early decisions have been largely reverted, and a wee bit more sane functionality added. Not enough. Which is why I'd like to take a moment or three to discuss some extra tweaks and changes you should add to this desktop environment to make it palatable. Read more

When to Use Which Debian Linux Repository

Nothing distinguishes the Debian Linux distribution so much as its system of package repositories. Originally organized into Stable, Testing, and Unstable, additional repositories have been added over the years, until today it takes more than a knowledge of a repository's name to understand how to use it efficiently and safely. Debian repositories are installed with a section called main that consists only of free software. However, by editing the file /etc/apt/sources.list, you can add contrib, which contains software that depends on proprietary software, and non-free, which contains proprietary software. Unless you choose to use only free software, contrib and non-free are especially useful for video and wireless drivers. You should also know that the three main repositories are named for characters from the Toy Story movies. Unstable is always called Sid, while the names of Testing and Stable change. When a new version of Debian is released, Testing becomes Stable, and the new version of Testing receives a name. These names are sometimes necessary for enabling a mirror site, but otherwise, ignoring these names gives you one less thing to remember. Read more

Today in Techrights