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FBI Target Windows
And it's about time.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation are in the process of contacting more than one million Windows users who've had their computers hijacked by typical malware attacks. These 'botnets' are considered 'a growing threat to national security'.
'The vast majority of hijacked computers are Windows PCs', write the BBC in the understatement of the New Millennium: perhaps no more than a few dozen machines running other platforms can be affected.
Operation Bot Roast
Sticking with a tried and true tradition of using cool code names, the FBI call their latest initiative 'Operation Bot Roast'. The operation started by searching for infected and 'recruited' Windows computers and recently passed the 'one million' milestone.
'The majority of victims are not even aware their computers have been compromised', says FBI assistant director James Finch in the runner up understatement of the New Millennium, clueless Windows users with a clue being an acknowledged rarity.
'Many people fall victim by opening a message attachment or by visiting a booby trapped web page', reveal the ever vigilant BBC, thereby finally explaining how the seven year old 'Love Bug' worked and how those Internet 'drive bys' everyone's talking about really work.
Neither the FBI nor the BBC seem to think there's anything extraordinary about an operating system formerly embraced by the US federal government being such a sucker for amateurish black hat attacks.
Rounding Them Up
The FBI have already arrested three suspects for their alleged involvement in the botnet business. One of the apprehended faces up to 65 years in prison if found guilty.
No one is questioning Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, or any representative of Microsoft in connection with the operation.
Stopping Crime in Its Tracks!
Finally the BBC offer their customary helpful advice for computer users everywhere who wish to stop these nasty criminals in their tracks.
Telltale signs can be if the computer runs slowly, has an outbox full of mail no one's ever seen before, or if messages are received claiming they're already sending out spam, say the BBC.
Go to the lower left hand corner of your desktop, say Rixstep. If you find a green button labeled 'Start' or if you see a dark blue 'pearl' with a window inside with four different coloured panes remotely reminiscent of the NeXT cube - that's a telltale sign too.