Is organized crime controlling your Windows PC?

“A rise in attacks for financial gain, as opposed to attacks motivated by the creator’s desire to gain notoriety, is a disturbing trend noted in Symantec’s latest report on Internet security. Symantec is a leading provider of antivirus and PC security software,” Samantha Perry reports for Computing South Africa. “The people behind these types of attacks, says Symantec Africa regional manager Patrick Evans, are well-funded, organized crime groups that use networks of bots to obtain financial information for their own gain. ‘It is not just script kiddies anymore,’ he says, ‘although they are still there.’ Bots, Evans explains, are installed on vulnerable PCs and can be remotely controlled. A further implication of such control is that code can be updated on the fly, rendering antivirus software useless in a matter of seconds.”

“‘Bot networks are the favored mechanism of organized crime syndicates to gather financial data,’ Evans says. The latest report notes that there has been an enormous increase in the number of IP addresses associated with bot networks–from an average of 2000 per day from June through December last year, to an average of 34,000 per day in June of this year, with a peak of 75,000 per day in March 2004,” Perry reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Some might say that as long as your operating system is from Microsoft…

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Information Security Investigator says switch from Windows to Mac OS X for security – September 24, 2004
USA Today: people are switching from Windows to Mac because of security issues – September 21, 2004
The Motley Fool: Windows viruses, Apple iPod’s ‘Halo Effect’ may drive switch from Windows to Mac OS X – September 21, 2004
Gartner VP: Windows is the biggest beta test the world has ever known – September 20, 2004
Windows besieged by hackers; number of Windows viruses soars by more than 400% – September 20, 2004
Review: Windows XP SP2 ‘remains leaky, profoundly unsafe on the internet’ – September 17, 2004
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg: ‘The single most effective way to avoid viruses and spyware is to simply chuck Windows altogether and buy an Apple Macintosh’ – September 16, 2004


  1. meat of moose: although RICO was originally intended to go after “organized crime” in the 70s (I think), it’s been used for many other purposes recently. One of the biggest RICO suits is the suit by medical associations all over the country against insurance companies who have “systematically and maliciously” through “deceptive practices” defrauded doctors.

    I think RICO will apply very well in MS’ case. I’ve always wondered why the lawyers have not ferreted out that trail of money yet.

  2. chrononh:

    I disagree. Microsoft did not commit these crime. Microsoft only developed an OS that permitted selfish people to satisfy their criminal desires and Microsoft did not receive any financial benefit from their criminal activities. Had Microsoft advertised that Windows was secure and could not be used �systematically and maliciously” for these crimes then Microsoft may be held liable for deceptive and misleading advertising and be made to pay for damages in civil court.

    However ineffectual Microsoft is in developing a more secure OS its �enduring struggle� will be portrayed as a valiant and noble effort to thwart the world�s criminal elements. Besides, Microsoft could always say that Windows users could use Linux or buy a Mac and this would solve the problem well enough. So, you see, it�s not Microsoft that is the problem it�s the multi-million dopy PC users running Windows that are the real problem. If it weren�t for these dopy Windows users Microsoft could bask in security by obscurity.

  3. You know vehicles can be easily made that can travel over 100 miles per gallon, but this would create an oil surplus and the cost of gasoline would drop to less than $1.00 per gallon.

    What would they be, mopeds? Can you explain further?

  4. Microsoft probably made a deal with the Ashcroft Just-Us Department to allow faulty windoze that could be tampered with by the snoops in exchange for forgetting about the anti-trust monopoly issues.

    If true, that makes two factions for RICO suits (MS and the Bush administration).

    see for a RICO suit filed by a 9/11 widow against Bush, et al.

    as for 100 mpg cars, most of the car companies developed this by the end of the 1980s. It seems to have mostly involved retooling of the engines. They’re not one seater cars (or mopeds), but they’re not trucks, either.

    They wouldn’t make gas go to $1 per gallon. Nothing will at this point. Read about Peak Oil to figure out why.

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