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The Partial Relativity of Bullshit
There are four kinds of lies. Just ask the vast majority.
Symantec have a new malware report ready, report the BBC. The 'Internet Security Threat Report April 2008'. How wonderful. Nothing like a bit of lighthearted entertainment at the weekend. 'Symantec' is a contraction of 'symbiotic antics' which roughly explains what the corporation are up to (with Microsoft) and reading their reports is roughly equivalent to watching the Three Stooges try to explain the partial theory of relativity: lots of lies, damned lies, and statistics but precious little insight.
Here are some excerpts.
- Malware is up 136% in the last half of 2007.
- Malware is up by 711,912 new threats in 2007.
- This brings the total number of active malware attacks up to - hold on - 1,122,311.
And as the BBC hasten to point out: 'the VAST MAJORITY of viruses are aimed at Windows machines'.
How great they point that out. There was a time when they cautiously sidestepped that innocuous factoid. But no more. They got a lot of critical mail from this site and others about it and eventually changed their tune. A bit at any rate.
But if you take the time to read through the lugubrious Symantec report you'll find nary a mention of this.
Symantec - and McAfee and F-Secure and all the rest - live in a glorious symbiosis with Windows. The world of progress and fiscal success with those well greased wheels is dependent on Windows. Nothing else exists. Nothing else may exist.
And it's not just any Windows either: it has to be an insecure Windows.
It's very simple to help people: show them the way away from Windows. It's that simple.
The Symantec report brings up rather embarrassing statistics about Sun and Apple and their sluggish response to so called zero day exploits. But it doesn't really matter. It's not good these companies dally so long in patching what must of needs be patched.
But Sun's OS is as Apple's OS a 'Unix' - and when's the last time you heard of a Unix worm sweeping the Internet?
Now back to this 'vast majority' - a description of the status quo Symantec don't dare shoulder. How vast is vast?
Is it enough to say 'vast'? Does that really do it? How about 'overwhelming'? How about 'hey dude there's no other platform AT ALL threatened by this shit so that's how much of a majority'?
Get the picture?
For those who know none of this is news. They know things have been like this for so long now. And that staggering 1,122,311 'viruses' which you'd think would be an insult to any engineer and especially the likes of Bill Gates is in fact something he doesn't really think of.
And why should he? The money's rolling in - faster than he can burn it with Bozo - and his friends in the security industry are doing fine. Patch holes? Put Symantec out of business? Are you sure you want to do that?
Symantec can't sell products for Apple's OS X. And if they have products for Sun's SunOS and Solaris - if they have them - they're not exactly going like hot cakes either. And as much as they try to make Unix users paranoid they just can't bite. Users on Unix are smarter to begin with; they can do more than 'add/remove programs'; they're not sold by these snake oil salesmen.
Symantec and McAfee and F-Secure and all the rest: the more 'viruses' are out there the better their business is. Or has anyone forgot Michelangelo? Strike fear in the heart of Windows users. People who simply don't have a clue and don't know where to go to get one. There is only one platform. It's called Windows. It's the only platform that's ever been. IBM were using Windows way before the era of the PC. They used it on all their mainframes. Los Alamos have been using it all along. They used to run Windows on Cray supercomputers. SGI too. You heard their systems were Unix based? Nope. All Windows. Jurassic Park? All special effects done on Windows 98SE. Ask anyone.
People believe this. In effect they do. They don't have the details but they don't know anything either. The Internet is EVIL. There are DANGERS EVERYWHERE. You really shouldn't let your kids on the Internet. It's FIlTH and SMUT.
Can you get pwned? As in have your identity stolen? No. Just keep your virus signatures up to date. Symantec will protect you.
There's a very silent and very wise minority - not so vast - who know this is all bullshit.
BBC News: Computer Viruses Hit One Million
Symbiotic Antics: Internet Security Threat Report April 2008