- When we put this machine online it was, on average, hit by a potential security assault every 15 minutes. None of these attacks were solicited, merely putting the machine online was enough to attract them. The fastest an attack struck was mere seconds and it was never longer than 15 minutes before the honeypot logged an attempt to subvert it.
- The majority of these incidents were merely nuisances. Many were announcements for fake security products that use vulnerabilities in Windows Messenger to make their messages pop-up. Others were made to look like security warnings to trick people into downloading the bogus file.
- However, at least once an hour, on average, the BBC honeypot was hit by an attack that could leave an unprotected machine unusable or turn it into a platform for attacking other PCs.
(Except from BBC News: Tracking down hi-tech crime)
Let’s put this into context by taking it out of context. If you bought a car and it was broken into every single hour of every single day, would you ever buy a car from that manufacturer again – expecially when they kept claiming that their cars “really are secure”. If the locks to your house were tampered with every 15 minutes, would you move house? I certainly would.
Imagine the stuff you keep stored on your computer – photos of your kids, addresses, your diary, your finances. Every time you log into your bank account online, there’s probably a keylogger recording your keystrokes and sending them off someplace. Yes, the site might be secure – but your keyboard isn’t, and neither is your hard drive.
Sorry to keep banging the same old drum, but you should be running as hard and fast away from Microsoft as possible. If there’s software you must have that only runs under Windows then email or phone that company and tell them that they’re going to lose customers unless they release versions for other Operating Systems. If enough people do it, they’ll listen. Heck, there’s probably alternatives anyway.
If you use your PC to play games go get a PS2. It’ll be a heck of a lot cheaper than having your bank account skimmed. And Sims 2 on the PS2 rocks
Seriously, get a copy of Ubuntu. It’s free to download, or they’ll mail you a CD for free. Even shiping is free. It’s easily the friendliest version of Linux there is, so there’ll be minimum effort involved making the switch.
Enough ranting. Now, what are you waiting for?