BBC: Hackers assault Windows PCs every 15 minutes, ignores obvious solution: Get a Mac

“If every hour a burglar turned up at your house and rattled the locks on the doors and windows to see if he could get in, you might consider moving to a safer neighbourhood,” Mark Ward, Technology Correspondent, writes for BBC News. “And while that may not be happening to your home, it probably is happening to any PC you connect to the net.”

“An investigation by the BBC News website has established the scale of the dangers facing the average net user,” Ward reports.

“Using a computer acting as a so-called ‘honeypot’ the BBC has been regularly logging how many potential net-borne attacks hit the average Windows PC every day,” Ward reports. “When we put this machine online it was, on average, hit by a potential security assault every 15 minutes… 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… Often once a machine has fallen under someone else’s control, a keylogger will be installed to capture information about everything that the real owner does – such as login to their online bank account. This stolen information is often sold as few of those that steal it have the criminal connections to launder stolen cash.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brit” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Although Ward expends many words documenting the Windows PC mess, he never gets around to the obvious solution; one that he suggested in his opening paragraph: PC users actually can move to a much safer neighborhood, it’s called Apple Macintosh. We are left with two questions: will the world ever learn and what is wrong with the BBC?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
BBC signs web deal with Microsoft – September 28, 2006
Apple touts virus-free Macs – August 25, 2006
Get a Mac: Viruses, spyware cost U.S. consumers $7.8 billion over last two years – August 08, 2006
Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
McAfee expects 400,000 viruses by 2008 – July 06, 2006
Apple: ‘Get a Mac. Say ‘Buh-Bye’ to viruses’ – June 01, 2006
FBI: Viruses, spyware, other computer-related crimes cost U.S. businesses $67.2 billion per year – February 01, 2006
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005


  1. Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ had a lead item on this, and the subject of Apple Mac was raised by a call from a reader — but the ‘experts’ sidestepped the idea in a few words and went right back on droning about firewalls, anti-virus and the rest.

    One of them (I think) was from MS so no surprise there, and I’m afraid the rest comes from the BBC anti-Mac bias.

    Sadly I’m forced to pay a licence-fee tax for rubbish like this.

    Can’t rally say the BBC is particularly ‘commie’ though, as I know lots of people who work for it — I’d adjust the abuse to ‘pinko-liberal-MS-lovers’ that try their best mostly.

  2. So how am I, a desktop and server support person, spending my Columbus Day off? Assisting (for pay) a colleague’s personal Windows computer riddled with malware. SpyBot found a dozen or so pieces of said crap, one of which was apparently breaching his address book for nefarious purposes. Between that and Microsoft’s background Index Service his laptop was unusable. I think I can get it usable again, but I’m not cheap.

    When I pointed out that my six year old Pismo is on the Internet all the time, without antivirus and antispyware protection he was astonished! I think we’ve got another potential switcher on the verge.

  3. The BBC is the true symbol and paragon of the British chatter class, and if you consider the chattering class’ love affair with M$, it fits perfectly. It fits with their sympathy for Iran, N. Korea, Palestinian terrorists, etc. They can’t stand a small upstart who is creative/democratic and fighting to survive against the tide (i.e., Israel/Apple). If you support Apple/Mac products, you’re likely to be optimistic that better quality will win out against the Windows hordes. If you support Israel, you’re also likely to be optimistic that this small “David” can survive against the Goliath hordes aligned against it.
    If you’re in the Brit chattering class, however, you much prefer to make your peace with the devil (while you sneer contempt towards those who would resist). They did exactly the same thing with Hitler as well as many others.

    Kate: A former Euro (and for the sake of the typical Euro bigots, I must note that I’m not Jewish)

  4. The BBC’s IT division has been sold of to Siemens (fact). Enough said.

    You think it’s bad now, just wait until Vista is released, the BBC will be wall-to-wall Windows Vista output. It’s practically wall-to-wall on the inside anyway, so is the UK government.

    The UK is a sad place to be at the moment, I can’t believe I pay my taxes to such a corrupt society.

    Tacitus is spot on – look to see more ‘your PC is vulnerable’ articles from the BBC, in the run up to Vista’s launch, and then once they’ve revved up all the PC-zombies in the UK to fever pitch, Vista will be presented as the solution.

    “Wasn’t 98/NT/2000/XP supposed to do that?”, and “isn’t the Apple Macintosh a secure platform?” are questions that are unlikely to be asked.

  5. I agree with Kate and Gary and Markus of Queensbury. BBC would love a communist Great Britain. The democrats in the US would love it too. Fox News is a wonderful news channel. The BBC always leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth about their slant. Fox covers both sides very fairly and it drives the liberals crazy. Case in point all of the above counter posts.

  6. Makes me embarrassed to live in the UK. And we’re forced to pay the BBC a ‘tv licence’ if we want to watch tv at all!

    Saw this article on the front page of the metro this morning (free newspaper) and felt annoyed that it hadn’t mentioned any alternatives. but whatever, they can have their spyware, money stolen out of their banks, while im safe on my ibook.

  7. Oh, for God’s sake kate. That’s a bit of a stretch isn’t it? I mean BBC’;s obvious MS Bias is equated to ‘sympathy for Iran, N. Korea, Palestinians i.e. anyone our current foreign policy considers the Axis (Asis’s) of evil” is really over the edge. Euro Bigots = Microsoft? Wow nothing like reducing the world to broad generalizations…. Even for a die hard mac fan like me.

    Look Various business take the recommendations from the Chief Technology Officers. LFor them, right now, Microsoft and Netware and crystal reports, etc. etc. is the only way to go because this is what they have been using for the last 15 years. And most folks believe it or not don’t really give a rip about what kind of computer they use, they just want it to work. They get used to Windows at work, that’s what they want to used at home. End of story. That’s why they shop price over everything. That’s most users.

    Apple clearly has the the edge in individual, computers and small office, environments. This is where Apple has spend it’s development resources and marketing resources. So individuals and small business where the ‘owner’ makes the decisions, and actually educate themselves about computer, Apple will make inroads and have success.

    Maybe a long range plan, now that Apple has switched to Intel chips, is to go after servers and more enterprise environments. In a big way. Maybe Apple license and enterprise version of OS X to HP and Dell. Why not? Not the individual version, were talking OS X for banks, insurance companies, airline reservations. Thousands of folks tapping into the same database for accounts, reservations, appointments, orders etc. OS X as you and I used wasn’t designed for that (I don’t think) .

    Any way The world is a complex place, but we must resist reducing everything to a my way or the highway view. That’s what we the current administration is guilty of and look where we are now…..

  8. @ grognard:

    Spot on. Most IT departments are run for the benefit of the IT department rather than for the overall success of the business. As you say those where the owner makes the decisions and, more to the point, spends his own money and wants real value with no hassle, Apple is more likely to make inroads.

    Certainly most UK users regard ‘cheap’ as the main priority. The fact they then spend time trying to make it work seems to escape them. It’s only cheap if you don’t value your time.

    @ kate: Next thing you’ll be saying purchase of a Windows machine is anti-semitic.

  9. Unfortuanetely the BBC has become anything but objective. Funny enough it seems that the so called liberal media in general in the UK BBC Guardian, Observer have become vehemently anti Apple about the same time when if anything even 5 years ago pro Apple, Difficult to understand but very sad that for some obviously uncoincidental reason these organisations are spouting the Bill Gates song sheet without question. Whats worse I have to pay for them to do so. I have always been pro BBC but now that they are producing little of superiority over the independent companies and with their loss of objectivity I have little concern as to whether they survive.

  10.’s not just the BBC. Channel 5’s ‘The Gadget Show’ (UK) tonight reviewed several video editing solutions. They gave their thumbs-up to Sony’s Vegas Movie Studio software over iMovie HD. They maintained that iMovie HD was ‘too buggy’, not as intuitive as the Sony offering and too often trashed video files that the presenter – John Bentley – was working on. Guess he isn’t a Mac fan, then.

    The following link doesn’t mention iMovie HD, but the broadcast edition did –

  11. Gary,

    It is clear the sarcasm gene skipped your generation.

    Pardon me while I slam my head on the desk.

    Folks, I’m pretty sure Gary was the one being sarcastic. Or do you seriously think anyone calls anybody a “commie” anymore?

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