Cyber attack spreads worldwide

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Re: Cyber attack spreads worldwide

Postby edbarx » 2017-05-16 15:12

It is somewhat difficult to avoid the temptation to 'blame' Windows users for using their OS of preference. However, certain circumstances exist which force computer users to use it even though they may prefer something else. Students and users of specialised devices that connect to a computer, cannot always enjoy the freedom of software and OS choice. I can mention my recent experience when I purchased a USB oscilloscope that I couldn't use under Linux. Kernel developers are still unwilling to allow Windows drivers, notwithstanding they know a portion of hardware manufacturers, do not want to write open drivers or publish enough technical data. It seems kernel developers do not want to admit the hard reality, that hardware manufacturers are too powerful to be forced to do what they disagree with.

Someone may mention the ndiswrapper project which aims to use Windows XP Wifi drivers under Linux. Ndiswrapper does not provide support for all kinds of devices. My impression is, ndiswrapper is rather old software that was written when Linux Wifi drivers were difficult to find, but that is only my subjective impression.

EDIT: Edited for grammatical errors.
Last edited by edbarx on 2017-05-17 12:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cyber attack spreads worldwide

Postby wizard10000 » 2017-05-16 15:23

phenest wrote:...It's not a claim. If you booted into Windows '95, DOS was demoted to a compatibility layer for 16bit drivers. That's a fact. Perhaps you can show me proof of YOUR claim that it was merely a GUI shell.


The first MS *desktop* OS that used a compatibility layer instead of sitting on top of DOS was Windows 2000. Win95, 98 and ME were all just GUI shells. WinNT-based OS use a compatibility layer; the first NT-based desktop OS was Win2k.

edit: Actually you'r'e both kinda correct. DOS was demoted *after* the shell loaded but was still required to boot. If you disable launching the shell what you're left with is DOS :wink:

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnew ... 0/?p=24063
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Re: Cyber attack spreads worldwide

Postby Bulkley » 2017-05-16 15:56

wizard10000 wrote:edit: Actually you'r'e both kinda correct. DOS was demoted *after* the shell loaded but was still required to boot. If you disable launching the shell what you're left with is DOS :wink:

However it worked, Windows 95 is what drove me to Linux. I was one of those users who played DOS, made my own config.sys, etc. The Win95 shell was an annoyance I never got over.

Back to the theme of this thread, Microsoft might like to blame the NSA and others but the reality is that most Windows installations are terribly insecure and that's a big problem for Microsoft. Windows can be toughened up but generally isn't.
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Re: Cyber attack spreads worldwide

Postby wizard10000 » 2017-05-16 16:00

Bulkley wrote:However it worked, Windows 95 is what drove me to Linux.


Still OT, but that's what drove me to OS/2. Told the story before but I built this quad-boot monstrosity using a utility called System Commander that booted Win 3.1, a Win95 beta, OS/2 Warp and some Linux distribution - can't remember which.

Intellectual masturbation at its finest :mrgreen:

Okay, I'ma go sit down now. Please continue :)
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Re: Cyber attack spreads worldwide

Postby phenest » 2017-05-16 20:34

Bulkley wrote:Microsoft might like to blame the NSA and others but the reality is that most Windows installations are terribly insecure

There does seem to be some to and fro between NSA and MS and possibly nations that have been privy to the source code. It seems that, if the NSA found a vulnerability, they didn't tell MS unless it was a big problem for them, so the NSA only created patches for themselves. What's the point of all these extra eyeballs, if they're not willing to share with MS?
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Re: Cyber attack spreads worldwide

Postby Job » 2017-05-16 20:46

I still believe that Linux is more secure than windows.
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Re: Cyber attack spreads worldwide

Postby ruffwoof » 2017-05-16 22:44

n_hologram wrote:
ruffwoof wrote:One mindset accepts that risk and takes protective measures. The other mindset assumes safety where safety is far from assured.

I'm fairly certain this doesn't support the idea of running everything as root.

Puppy ... that runs everything as root (but can be set to run the likes of browsers etc as a restricted user) ...
Puppy boots in less than a minute, even in old PCs, and it does not require antivirus software. Administering Puppy is quick and minimal. With Puppy, you just have to take care of your data, which you can easily save to USB flash

It boots a pure read only system contained within a single compressed file (squashed filesystem) and runs everything in ram. If that file is loaded from a readonly CD/DVD (boot disc) and even if you were running a very old browser and as root to go to your bank web site (nowhere else beforehand) ... then that's pretty secure. Or if you booted and went to a virus riddled web site, your data remains out of harms way.

"If you are using the internet for a commercial transaction, use a Linux boot up disk - such as Ubuntu or some of the other flavours. Puppylinux is a nice small distribution that boots up fairly quickly.

"It gives you an operating system which is perfectly clean and operates only in the memory of the computer and is a perfectly safe way of doing internet banking," van der Graaf said.
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Re: Cyber attack spreads worldwide

Postby n_hologram » 2017-05-16 23:37

ruffwoof wrote:
n_hologram wrote:
ruffwoof wrote:One mindset accepts that risk and takes protective measures. The other mindset assumes safety where safety is far from assured.

I'm fairly certain this doesn't support the idea of running everything as root.

Puppy ... that runs everything as root (but can be set to run the likes of browsers etc as a restricted user) ...
Puppy boots in less than a minute, even in old PCs, and it does not require antivirus software. Administering Puppy is quick and minimal. With Puppy, you just have to take care of your data, which you can easily save to USB flash

It boots a pure read only system contained within a single compressed file (squashed filesystem) and runs everything in ram. If that file is loaded from a readonly CD/DVD (boot disc) and even if you were running a very old browser and as root to go to your bank web site (nowhere else beforehand) ... then that's pretty secure. Or if you booted and went to a virus riddled web site, your data remains out of harms way.

"If you are using the internet for a commercial transaction, use a Linux boot up disk - such as Ubuntu or some of the other flavours. Puppylinux is a nice small distribution that boots up fairly quickly.

"It gives you an operating system which is perfectly clean and operates only in the memory of the computer and is a perfectly safe way of doing internet banking," van der Graaf said.

If your argument comes down to "a read-only filesystem is more secure than a rw one," I'll bias towards your side. However, I speculate the logistics of running this type of system full-time, especially on an environment like a server.
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Re: Cyber attack spreads worldwide

Postby ruffwoof » 2017-05-17 00:34

n_hologram wrote:If your argument comes down to "a read-only filesystem is more secure than a rw one," I'll bias towards your side. However, I speculate the logistics of running this type of system full-time, especially on an environment like a server.

Pristine factory fresh installation, configured and cast to a read only device (DVD) and any subsequent reboot has the system back to pristine again. However I only know of cases of relatively small clusters/servers using Puppy Linux. The main focus is then the data protection/backup policies (together with test system preparation of any system updates (next read-only system DVD release)).

The limitation factor is primarily memory capacity, however swap can assist there.

Penetration, shutdown, purge swap, reboot ... pristine again. Contrast that with having to identify and isolate the problem.
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