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Department of Dummies
Can there be hope?
Gary McKinnon always suspected the thousands of Windows PCs at the US Department of Dummies directly connected to the Internet could have constituted a ruse. For why else would a major defence organisation leave their networks wide open?
Yet revelations published yesterday by the BBC seem to crush that theory completely. The US DoD are truly a Department of Dummies.
In an article entitled 'The dark side of the flash drive' BBC senior technology correspondent Mark Ward relates the latest for goings-on in that five sided building: flash drives, CDs, DVD, and floppy diskettes are temporarily banned. And why? Because of a Windows worm.
The knowledge the United States defence system is riddled with Windows should strike fear into the hearts of all citizens of that country and be a cause for jubilation for the country's enemies - as well as international hackerdom.
The worm - a variant of SillyFDC known as Agent.btz - was discovered on DoD systems last November. Powerless to combat the spread of Agent.btz because they're still running Windows, the top brass at the Department of Dummies blamed removable drives and USB sticks instead.
Tim Ellsmore of 3ami says the USB stick is an important tool for many people yet represents a security headache for many companies. So true - should those companies be so stupid as to still be using Windows.
'Companies need to remind employees about safe net use' says a caption on a picture in the article, a picture very likely taken from Bill Gates' own Getty Images.
Network auditing firm Insightix estimate up to 20% of the USB sticks connecting to large networks can be infected with rogue software.
The Foundation of Good Security
'Knowledge is the foundation of good security', say Insightix. So true - but how about starting with the admission that from a security standpoint Windows is simply not fit for use?
'Until you reach the stage where you can see what people in the organisation are doing you do not have a clue', adds Tim Ellsmore. Perhaps true as well - but how about agreeing everyone already knows the Dummies are consistently using Windows?
The Joy That's Not Windows
Rumours still abound US president elect Barack Obama may pick Bill Joy as the coming administration's chief technology officer. Bill Joy is the legendary cofounder of Sun Microsystems who was intimately involved in the development of FreeBSD Unix. Joy's also been a Mac user for several years. Of Windows Joy once felled the following.
I find Windows of absolutely no technical interest. They took systems designed for isolated desktop systems and put them on the net without thinking about evildoers as our president would say.
- Bill Joy
Then he also said the following after acquiring his first Mac.
Mac OS X is a rock solid system that's beautifully designed. I much prefer it to Linux.
- Bill Joy
A Bill Joy in charge of national computer use in the US might very well set a trend for the world at large. Joy's first order of business would of course be to outlaw use of all Microsoft software in the Department of Dummies and then sentence the DoD decision makers to 40 whacks with a clue bat.
The word has it the CTO announcement will come today. Hope for the best. The world's had enough Windows now. Much more than enough. The world can stand no more.