Most Important Windows Security Patch Ever

For the past 7 years Microsoft has released security patches for their products on the second Tuesday of each month. Following tradition, Microsoft just issued its largest security patch ever on October 12th, Patch Tuesday. Let me say again that this is the largest patch ever from Microsoft. A total of 49 vulnerabilities are fixed with 16 patches and this far exceeds the previous record of 34.

One of the most notorious exploits, that was mostly fixed, was the Stuxnet virus. This is the virus that attacked the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran earlier this year. I think it was a mistake when we coined the word “virus” to describe these attacks. We forget that what we call a virus is a direct attack by an individual or group. It’s almost as if we accept virus activity like we would accept having a cold. Make no mistake, this virus is not about a few stolen credit card numbers. There is a war going on. There are good guys and bad guys. The good guys are called “White Hat Hackers”, the bad guys are called “Black Hat Hackers”, and they are locked in mortal combat.

The introduction of the Stuxnet Virus changed the game. It amazed and horrified all the current experts. The attack on Bushehr was and still is, a big deal. The Stuxnet virus attacked a physical plant, and a nuclear plant at that. No longer a simple attack on software but a full blown attack on hard objects.

This absolutely marks the beginning of a new era. The beginning of digital strikes against physical targets. The results can be the same as if someone dropped a bomb on your city .

Stuxnet took months of preparation and a level of expertises that was previously unknown. A bag of new tactics that infected without internet connections, without the click of a button. The sophistication was staggering. There’s little doubt that the attack was the work of a well trained group or nation and not the work of individuals.

Suddenly my monthly discussions with good friend and Apple user Bill R. seem rather unimportant. Now I realize that while protecting my computer is a must, it’s not the whole issue. The real issue is much bigger and much more ominous. The real issue is about the safety of nations and families. I’ve never looked to see where or how many nuclear plants were in the US, but a quick Google search let me know that unless I move to Oregon or North Dakota, I’ve got every chance of glowing like a light bulb if someone decides to launch a similar attack in the US.

WHAT TO DO

1. Do your part and update immediately. Be sure to mark it on your calendar to updated every Patch Tuesday.

2. Purchase a good antivirus product. Find a product that doesn’t waste resources and slow your system to the point that you disable it. Find one that updates automatically and offers real time protection. Remember you’re only as safe as your most recent update. In fact, the most dangerous time is immediately after Patch Tuesday on Hacker Wednesday. The hackers take advantage of those who don’t update right away.

3. Continue to be cautious when receiving and opening email.

4. Avoid visiting Social Networks and unprotected file sharing sites. There is no protection when you intentionally click the download button. It’s up to you to decide whether the person on the other end is clear of infection.

5. Enjoy the protection that comes with Cloud Computing. It’s going to be one of the biggest shifts in how computing is done. Eventually all of your applications and programs will be kept on a server and not your computer. It’s the future and PC Pitstop is a part of it. All of our programs are in The Clouds. Get on board.

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BBC

CNET

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50 thoughts on “Most Important Windows Security Patch Ever

  1. Cloud computing – NO THANKS.

    Lets see, I put my files out on the net where I have to use their software. I have MS Office XP(2002-2003) with EXCEL files with macros. I open up my file in their MS Office 2007 or 2010 and aaarrgh!!! My macros don’t work!! And I’m probably paying by the hour to use their software. Now I have to spend many hours (maybe days) to figure out how to ‘fix’ the macros that worked just fine in the older version which I can no longer use because I have to use their version which I am not very familiar with because Microsoft had to ‘fix’ Office by moving everything around creating a big learning curve for the newer version (reducing productivity even for experienced users).

    What about when the newer version won’t work on the older operating system? Are they going to supply the operating system upgrades? What about when the new operating system won’t run on the older machine? Are they going to supply a new computer as well? And, at what cost?

    Great idea for the guys trying to grab more of my money! BAD for me! I can see the costs driving many ‘low end computer’ users out of the market because of the costs.

    I’m running Windows XP Pro on a 7 year old machine that works just fine with 3GB memory and two 250GB SATA mirrored drives. I also have a three year old HP laptop with 4GB memory, 260GB SATA drive, and Windows Vista Home Premium. A piece of crap. I installed a new version of the Computer Associates Internet Security Suite and the operating system blew up. Now it won’t boot up (even in safe mode) and I find it has a problem with the TPM. It is the same security on both machines. NEWER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER!!!!

    BTW, I tried the Free PC Matic Scan on my computer. It got part way through the scan and re-booted my computer. I got a message that my computer recovered from a serious error. I tried the scan again and part way through it did the same thing again. Same error message. I uninstalled the Free PC Matic Scan software and no more errors. I’m not going to tell you where you can shove that piece of crap. I think you can figure that out for yourselves.

  2. wow – amazing my computer didn’t blow up the past ten days without checking email or getting this newsletter. The general message these days in the world, any level all levels, seems to be telling everyone everywhere “Be very afraid”. Well, taking normal precautions for the age we live in, just like cavemen had to or we wouldn’t have gotten this far,doesn’t mean panicking or buying into every “head in the CLOUDs” notion that the very afraid try to sell to the less timid.

    Such a shame to see PC Pitstop buying in and selling out – used to be the absolute best place for pc users.

    By the way Brendan on the 17th – this isn’t about spelling, it’s about communication. Some of the most notable geniuses in the world couldn’t/can’t spell.

  3. Why would any of our nuclear power plant owners have the controls to the equipment connected to the Internet? They should have a completely closed computer system for plant controls and monitoring and a separate system for Internet communications activity.

    It’s insane to connect national security sites to the Internet.

  4. My, my. You mean, shock, horror, we may have to live without computers?

    Wouldn’t that be tragic? Well actually it would only knock us back a few decades in technology.

    How on earth did old farts like us live without mobile phones and PC’s in our homes? You think every nation on earth have homes equipped with PC’s or run by computer?

    Grow up – it is not the end of the world. It’s is simply another challenge for others to exploit and make money from!

    Simple, it’s just business in the 21st century.

  5. The virus was found on some personal computers… it wasn’t even an attack on the plant itself. Some idiot was probably surfing where they shouldn’t have been and picked up the virus… shared the link with a co-worker or two and now you have some BIG SCARE about an attack on a power plant… no hurry to slow down your computers by jumping onto cloud computing just yet. ROLFMAO

    Go back to sleep… it’s just a bad dream! Not even the Iranians are stupid enough to put the Power Plant in harms way.

  6. Cloud computing is going to be proven evil. They will hold all your info. What if they start holding your info for ransom? If they have the applications, how will you have access to your info except through their applications? I think cloud computing will prove to bve a trap.

  7. i don’t like to pick nits, but this site really overdoes the semi-literacy thing. ‘there’ vs. ‘their,’ ‘tote’ when you mean ‘tout,’ ‘mith’ for ‘myth,”it’s’ when you mean ‘its,’ ‘your’ used for ‘you’re,’ John H’s reading anti-nuclear power rhetoric where it is not mentioned, Dragoneyes giving a whole new meaning to the notion of run-on sentence. And so on.

    What is with this stuff? Just because you are techno-geeks you have no obligation to treat language with some respect? Or learn it in the first place?
    it’s (that’s the correct usage) embarrassing.
    And annoying after a while.

  8. For those who worry about which OS code is safest answer = none Check out Metasploit, exploits for everthing. For those who believe cloud computing, they themselves and their information are safe, Remember that info packets must make it to cloud and back and by the nature of the internet the packets can be intercepted, read and altered, and for those who trust large scale organisations the Tasmanian government payed me $38000 for abuse while I was in thier care what makes you think your info will be safer than you.

  9. @BeVar. WHAT?
    If you are as adept at computer repair as you are explaining what a computer genius you are and how to remain secure on our computers….
    I’d say you are 13 years old and have less knowledge than the average porn surfer.
    Not to sure just what your drivel was supposed to mean except to spend $50 to $100 an hour for some clown to keep my computer “secure”.
    Thanks for the laugh, I need all the humor I can get right now.

  10. Liked the idea about the future of our systems – all applications and programs will be kept on servers. Sounds interesting but that means we won’t have any control over them in my opinion.

  11. The Cloud Technology won’t work for me. I’m in the rural US.
    I have no cable tv, my land line is not even listed for up
    grade to handle high speed internet, I have to drive down the
    road a mile or two to report my land line down with my cell
    phone. My internet is broadcast from an antenna in a farm field.
    I lose my internet access numerous times per day for various
    reasons for seconds to several minutes and it is the only high
    speed available. I have Optimizer 3, it wonk run without
    internet access and nothing else on a Cloud would, either.

  12. Hold on, are you panicking us because we will be under attack by other nations? and we need to protect ourselves?

    who exactly do you think was the brains of the attack on the plant? I guess its some rogue nation like the USA or UK.

    I want IT support from your site, not badly informed sensational journalism like this .

  13. Cloud computing – No thank you!
    I can think of nothing riskier. Everyones data in one place, how vulnerable is that. We can’t even keep banks and credit card websites save without huge fraud departments looking into attacks and lapses in security.
    Over the past 4 years my credit card has been hacked from supposedly safe websites on 3 occasions. Fortunately I haven’t stood the loss directly. But of course we all stand the loss in higher charges. I can’t see cloud computing being a cheap option in the long run.
    Whats more one serious hit and customers will depart in droves.

  14. @John H.: Although alternative energy sources may not be the future, neither is nuclear energy. The thing is, with our current energy direction, we have no long-term future. Nuclear power has been around for over half a century. If some major shift towards nuclear energy was going to occur, it would have happened already. Even if it is adopted more in the future, radioactive materials are a finite resource. We would still be in a similar, albeit less polluted situation.

  15. I am a computer professional, more than 20 years. I see 50 to 100 computers each month, thoroughly screwed up because everyone and probably most of these readers, don’t want to spend the money on a pro. I am a computer guru. I am sorry if I sound pompous. I just want to try and qualify what I am about to say.

    Most people here are right about the cloud being a commercial enterprise to make enourmous amounts of money, and power, and bragging rights. None of us make , have that kind of money to be even aware of this monopoly game.

    Computing safety? I’ll probably get off my duff and re-join Microsoft’s “TechNet” – $2 to $3 thousand a year. Get all MS software downloads, I hope on flash and or memory cards instead of CD and DVD; get all developement and present Beta software. Been there before, dropped it because I didn’t need it with the Internet on steroids and broadband. But yes, all of you, we are at a critical stage of developement and been there. The Internet waring is only going to increase and the proper security software and social nets and download site are out to get you. Be paranoid, it’s good for you; but CONTROL IT! Yeah, be paranoid and control it. Don’t get crazy.
    Beat the drum to do those Windows Updates every week and keep “Automatic updates” on for Microsoft and your Virus program and the Malware program you should be running. Get an education from the pro’s as who not to trust. I make my money on what I know, I don’t give it away and you know why? Because I need to pay for a mortgage also, I need to shop at a Wal-Mart, I need to eat. No amature if computer savy ones can match the pro. Just like a good doctor we need to research and study every day to keep relavent and updated.

    There’s lots of us around, the small shops. The dedicated older guy. Pick one like you pick your Doctor. Pay the man his $50 or $100 an hour and he will keep you protected as best as any protection goes.
    That number is 98% not 100%. Nothing in ife is a hundred percent. We need to live with it, like controlling paranoia.

    Use Microsoft’s Security Essentials, great FREE Antivirus and AntiSpyware program. I hop eMS ocks it in to the build and release it with Windows. They need to protect their product from all the unsavory crap software out there; protect their reputation and what they sell.

    And, ya know, I believe there was some truth to just about everything I read here tonight. There are cases for cloud computing, milions of cases, people. Just like social networks. It’s like an ecology, that keeps me in business; those FaceBook links will get YOU! ha,ha —- but it’s true!

    If all this frazles you too much, go to Linux but they’re not immune—–not enough of them to count.
    Or, get the heck off the internet and or get rid of your computer and buy the iPad or iPhone.

    I can be reached at BeVarSystems@gmail.com

  16. As A Software Engineer with around 30 years working in industrial control systems, I’ve always said we need an isolated network for infrastructure connectivity. Many many of my peers believed we should have one big network. I think that would be a HUGE mistake. The military is good at this. They have some non-secure systems hooked to the internet, but the really important and secure stuff is on isolated private networks.

  17. :0 YAWN….. I hear ya OCE
    does anyone remember the Chernobyl Virus?
    It was on the regular TV News at the time.

    NO, that’s not a typo, “Chernobyl Virus”

    Like the guy riding the bus in the Starburst fruit chews commercial says, “You’re boring me *back* to death”

  18. This guy has clinched it for me: NO CLOUD – NO JUMPING ON BOARD, AND NO BOWING TO THE POWERS LIKE SHEEP.
    PCPitstop is one with Big Brother…stay away from them.

  19. This panic over nuclear stations is so dumb. PCs are not used in the control room to operate the reactor. The systems that do this task are isolated from the internet. There are so many safeguards in place even former IT professionals supporting the control computers could not break in from the outside.

    Go outside and look up. You have more of a chance of the sky falling.

  20. Umm… Why in the world would any nuclear plant, or any other any other such infrastructure ever be running windows?? Well I am certain they were not. Maybe some user systems were, but they shouldn’t have been, and most likely were not, allowed access to sensitive networks.

    So what does windows updates and “the cloud” have to do with this? Nothing much.

    So apparently the plant was infected by means of USB thumbdrive/s. 95+% of malware is transmitted due to user stupidity. Once again it is stupidity that rules the day.

  21. Let’s face it. With a certain level of corruption present in every government on this planet, and the driving force behind advances in technology regularly being the bottom line… Whatever solution presented to deal with this ridiculous paranoia will be the one that brings in the most profit.

  22. I’m so sick of patches and updates. I don’t want anything that’s made by Microsoft anymore. Can’t they just make it right the first time. I hate pc bullsh@#!

  23. Yet again more scaremongering to sell your software. What a surprise that “Purchase a good antivirus product.” points to PC Matic. (Being Ironic). Every Cloud has a silver lining, however I would rather keep my software and data on my PC and not on a remote server where it is more likely to be tampered with or spied on by unscrupulous employees of whatever firm is entrusted with it!

  24. Far too much debate about power, I think the issue is more about infrastructure and security!

    I can certainly agree that many people are negligent in their personal computer protection. However, even with the latest and greatest patches and security fixes there is certainly room for vulnerabilities and exploits. Fortunately, this helps people in the consulting and repair business I guess.

    At the corporate IT level, several firms that I’ve spoken to or worked with had minimal security or disaster recovery planning. Even without a virus or security issue, there are far too many issues to address! I know the economy is hard but when a client asks, “Do you think we can save money by skipping out on RAID?” — There’s a problem. As my stomach turns already, you know the idea about purchasing a firewall and endpoint protection is not going to go over too well!

    There is an inverted equation I like to refer to here that applies to everyone… Risk and Money! Risk is high when the investment is low, and visa versa. Only problem is you can spend infinite dollars and still have “risk”!

    To the cloud world — Larry W.’s point about all the eggs in one basket is extremely relevant! That’s a simple way to outsource some risks for a roughly proportionate cost.

    At the end of the day though I think people need to remember due diligence. There is only so much people can do given their circumstances (including government, nuclear power plants, small firms, etc.) and that’s it! Due negligence also applies when people/firms intentionally neglect things knowing their risks, and boy oh boy, they end up paying the price afterwords! Sadly given all the “unknowns” described by the article above, it’s like fighting with nature and you cannot stop a hurricane from happening.

    As far as attacking an object with technology, due diligence should have occurred through risk assessment and appropriate controls and policy put in place to minimize the risks. I would think a nuclear power plant would have appropriate controls (and if not, they sure should by now) and I’m sure they are proprietary in their systems as well.

    Almost makes me wonder… was there some espionage? Did someone on the “inside” release confidential information or take part in the execution? I definitely do not agree with the whole hands-off attack. Especially without any “internet connections”. This type of reporting causes hysteria and I’m curious about the validity of the article myself.

    After a few minutes of Googling, Stuxnet is an internet-based worm (and USB?) that looks for a certain Siemens programmable logic controller, it exploits the logic controller, and then alters the code on the controller. The controller in reference is used with Siemens SCADA system, which is used for partially managing utility companies and manufacturing. Just so happens a little more googling shows the “exploit” could be further related to a hard coded password on the Siemens PLC that became publically known. I guess it’s easy for me to point out… there’s the “problem”. A programmable logic controller with a hard coded, publically known password, that is used in major applications? Ouch! It’s a VERY far stretch in my opinion to do any damage with that anyway, other then making a system potentially inoperative. I highly doubt anything like “launch codes” can be executed from this PLC, and even then, someone would have to divulge confidential information to what those codes are or the procedures to execute them.

    Anyway, back to the point if that “SCADA” system isn’t somehow tied into a LAN, it should not have been infected and ultimately shouldn’t be able to call home either. Worms just don’t appear out of thin air! It *has* to be received somehow and also executed (execution could be through exploit though), sorry. It’s like you are telling me my machine can reach the internet when it has no network interfaces. Again, lets not introduce hysteria. The only method I can predict an issue to occur is from someone on the inside.

    This doesn’t mark anything new either. Technically the target is still a computer! The only valid point I’m abstracting from this article is Microsoft released a huge patch. You are correct!

  25. Strangely enough, there is a tendency for people to either over complicate or over simplify news. A huge patch may occur for many reasons and in itself is not cause for worry. The boogyman is still under the bed and ready to pounce. Come on folks, get a life and take some responsibility for yourown actions. If you do not update and use virus scanning, you are silly. If you don’t back up your important files you are bloody crazy.
    Get with the plan folks! And that includes the corporate IT boffins. Cloud computing is a crock of $hyt3 designed to get your hard earned dollars once you are hooked. Take charge of your OWN files on your OWN computer with your OWN backups. There is NO other option. PERIOD! This is your responsibility alone.
    Corporate IT, get a F&^$in grip on reality. Isolate your important work PC system away from the internet. Have dedicated email terminals that don’t care a hiss if they get stuffed up. The cost is so little now it is really like typewriter ownership. Don’t try to make each computer do everything.
    LAW ENFORCEMENT and legislators, take action to rid the community of antisocial hackers. Chuck them in hard labour camps to reflect what they have done for 10-20.
    BANKS and Mission criticals. Get off the bloody internet. It should have no place in your business plan. Banks get back to simple dial in software. The data to be transmitted is so small you simply have no excuse to use the net. Using insecure browsers is just not good enough.

    … Rob alights fron the soap box and draws a deep breath….

  26. As usual,things are blown out of proportions,the whole thing is almost entirely speculation,even if the Bushehr plant computers were somewhat infected,another mith/rumor is that the United States is behind the attack,(the hyterics dreamers of conspiracies,etc)but also as usual,events will follow it’s course as it has from the beginnings of time and will be molded/accommodated according to the great principle behind everything.

  27. I agree with John H. as far as the chicken little response. I would think that people learned a lesson from the Y2K scare. Computers control a lot but they are not singular controls in important systems such as utilities, weapons, and such. Banks are a good example with redundent systems for back up including micro-fiche, etc. But I disagree with you John as to nuclear being the answer. Search, “free energy” and you will see some science changing motors that the patent office MUST sooner rather than later allow to be developed. I hope anyone reading this does the same and we get a movement going. I’m doing a paper on it right now for my college writing class and hope more people shed more light on these VERY SAFE, CLEAN breakthroughs.

  28. the people who keep saying “use linux” in my opinion are a bit ignorant. I don’t think they get the idea of why windows was and is developed. I think most of the people that say this, say this only because they think they’re cool and are using a different operating system. Leave linux to the knowledged users and leave windows to those less tech savvy. Though if you only use the computer for everyday things (just browsing the web, reading emails, word, etc) linux is a great alternative.

  29. No one has noticed the elephant in the room. Clearly, this hack is the work of U.S. (and/or Isreali) intelligence operatives. No question that it ups the anti and encourages any and every similar organization to attack each other at will and to put every computer user at risk. And this doesn’t even consider the moral culpability of these anonymous spooks when they succeed in blowing up a nuclear site and murdering millions of civilians in the process. The fault lies with governments who, under a veil of secrecy, allow these criminal agencies to ply their trade.

  30. I was shocked to see what the download size was for Windows 7, over 80 megs. Now I know why. I don’t ever remember that big of a download on “patch Tuesday”.

    I’ve re-installed Windows XP for a friend, which was in February this year. The disc he had was Windows XP Home Service Pack 2, and I had previously downloaded Service Pack 3. There were over 250 updates that needed to be installed. I did Windows Update 3 or 4 times, and every time there was more to download. I thought that was crazy.

    You have to be so careful before you click anything. I got out of Facebook, it was getting too scary, proper security isn’t there. Plus the spam from people I didn’t know, somehow they managed to get my email address from Facebook. And it is so commercial now, almost any company you can think of is now on there too.

  31. @Edward anti nuclear rhetoric is just that the technology is actually pretty safe and it runs clean if we don’t use outdated tech. (which does rule out a number of older facilities) but that aside these plants should be made to be independent of outside influence for the functions of its main mechanical systems. its one thing for an outside source to ask for greater capacity or lesser depending on the grids needs its another when functions like level of cooling or any of the critical systems can be directly affected by an outside source or an infection from the outside is implemented. sure it would exclude windows linux and apple operating systems completely because each are part of the existing system and all can be bypassed because they all have been made to work with each other to some extent. with a new system all together. which does not work with the others beyond taking very regimented orders from external sources the impact of attack like commands could be kept to a very manageable level.

    also if your sole understanding is Latin and you receive orders in Russian or English your not likely to carry out questionable orders. the attacks would have to be in the operating systems native language only or they simply wouldn’t work. plus you could force the system to only accept changes from specific sources IE: vetted terminals for new input.

    banks and the stock exchange would be another matter in and of themselves since they still need to be readily available to the public. I agree that cloud computing is putting all your eggs in one basket and will lead to horrific security breaches. yet another system could be implemented using alternating languages which are incompatible with any other. simply put for every level of the system use another language which simply does not understand the next/previous levels input beyond preset commands. a home banker can only send they’re level of commands to the bank they deal with, the bank can only send its level of commands to the central bank….etc… each using non compatible languages so only the set functions can be passed on to the next level a virus written for one level wont work on another level because its in the wrong language also if another level tries to pass on said virus to the correct level it wouldn’t be accepted because only the preset input is being read by the next level in effect 0 or 1. sure to implement something this drastic now would be a colossal endeavor and probably triple the number of programmers needed today but seriously as long as we keep adding more systems with ever more compatibility to the net we are in fact creating the same problem cloud computing has for basic security risks.

  32. Am I to understand that if we put ALL our eggs in one basket (cloud) that we will be safer? From what?

    I would think that the more operating systems we have out there and the less compatable they are, the better for all.

    Compatability only for information exchange (surfing) but secure languages on encription for all personal/legal/bank and national security information.

    Just my view on it all. (But,I still have a lot to learn)

  33. So what you’re all saying is that should I have a rogue nuclear weapons project, I’d be better off running it al from a Mac?

  34. I have a good antivirus program that updates every two hours: I am amazed at how many times there are more than a dozen updated files several times a day.

    As for cloud computing: The more variety we have in computers, operating systems, programs, etc., the less likely that one really effective virus can do us all in. The “cloud” goes the other way: It assures us that one really good virus can destroy the records, information, and personal privacy of millions of people at a time.

    Think of how many people were affected recently by one bank being hacked into–and that was found quickly. Millions of people suddenly couldn’t access their property, pay bills, be sure if their bills had been paid, know if their personal information had become public, etc. What if the hackers had been really good and erased all the files of that bank? Now picture if they could do it to all the major banks at once.

    Cloud computing: Easy for major software corporations to make lots of money. Bad for overall security.

  35. I’ve heard what PC Pitstop, Microsoft, and DaveC had to say, but what is the true factual basis and source for the opposing views by Ron Graves and John H? Also, I did not hear any anti-nuclear power rhetoric from PC Pitstop. There are so many people with “anti” positions these days, but no specific alternatives.

  36. Its time we create more closed net systems for the actual day to day running of our infrastructure. high security nets where the internet has no connection at all.We’ve been sitting on our collective butts thinking the current status has to exist for functionality and that is a false belief forcing huge holes in the security of the infrastructure. even something as simple as a dedicated language which does not take any instructions from other languages beyond text data with safeguards for any abnormal commands could more than double the safety of a plant/company/system. the idea that everything needs to be compatible is probably the biggest security risk we’ve added to the system.

  37. I have one issue with your protection methods. You tote cloud computing as the answer to push all your applications to the cloud. Now if you go that route you almost elude to the fact that users will not be prone to attack.
    This is far from the truth. I believe the opposite is true. Users will be placing there applications and likely personal data on systems that are hidden from plain site and unmanageable from a users standpoint. Users will not know if the hosting company is legit or a foreign syndicate put in place to attack us, or that the company has not patched the systems at all. It is going to be all on the honor system, that is a heck of a lot scarier then trying to keep security in your court.
    What next state issued computers and internet so that the government can monitor our every move “for our protection”. I agree that patching your system and having a good anti-virus is a no-brainer but I am against the cloud for the most part and I have see a lot having been in corporate IT Security / Forensics for over 10 years and IT in general for over 15.

  38. And we don’t need all this anti-nuclear power rhetoric. Sooner or later, people have to wake up to the fear-mongering. Nuclear power is our only real salvation if we are going to avoid polluting our planet to death. We have to use fossil fuels for now, but we must start thinking about moving away from fossil fuels within the 21st century. Wind power is just so much b/s, as are 99% of all the other so-called alternative energy sources. Any electrical engineer with any experience in producing and distributing electricity will tell you that these proposals are just that – b/s. By focusing on these fruitless pie-in-the-sky efforts, we are losing time and wasting huge sums of ‘research’ dollars looking for the energy equivalent of the mythical Lost City of Gold.

  39. I don’t think anything positive can come from all this hyperbole. I seriously, seriously doubt that a hacker or virus creator is going to cause the ‘destruction of our entire infrastructure’ anytime soon or even within the foreseable future. All this chicken-little posturing is not constructive, because most people can’t relate to the underlying fear-driven dialogue. What IS very serious in the here and now is the billions of dollars of waste in terms of lost productivity caused by these people. What is needed is some serious international consensus and law-making that focuses on finding and jailing these people for life. Without really serious sanctions, even for fourteen year old anti-social hackers, all we are really doing is blowing hot air up our collective skirts.

  40. “5. Enjoy the protection that comes with Cloud Computing. It’s going to be one of the biggest shifts in how computing is done. Eventually all of your applications and programs will be kept on a server and not your computer. It’s the future and PC Pitstop is a part of it. All of our programs are in The Clouds. Get on board.”

    As for The Cloud being the future, you can keep it – it’s an over-hyped crock.

  41. After being in the depths of the anti-malare White Hat (WH) fight as an independent cracker & analyzer, I’ve seen the complexity and ingenuity of the BH community grow by enormous leaps and bounds during my stint from 99-05. It surpassed my abilities by then but I knew this day was coming soon when a rogue group/nation could attack another thru cyberspace at will.
    No longer is “just for kicks” or money the driving force of these groups, and that’s the scariest scenario we can think of. The US, Canada (my home), UK and most all of the western democratic nations are at serious risk of our entire infrastructure being destroyed without a single shot being fired at us. Of course, by inflection, we can also do the same to others too. This is the changing of the guard so to speak, as to how wars will be fought, and the future is here now. Simple unprotected home computers will become an enemies most dangerous weapon against us, and we are infinitely vulnerable to this style of attack. With the click of a mouse, an entire nation could be brought to a complete standstill and sent back to the stone age for years, a very scary thought.
    People will soon learn that proper protection is no longer going to be left up to the individual, as nations will probably have to take their safety to a new level and require mandatory safeguards be placed on every PC (and Mac) being used by their citizens. For sure many will complain about their “right” to do as they please without government interference, but the safety of a nation must come first with this. Everything we do & use on a daily basis, every time we turn on a light or use the stove to cook will be in jeopardy if we don’t protect our infrastructure from cyber attack.
    This attack has opened the door, and our eyes, & the first salvo has been launched, where it goes from here is up to every single one of us.

    PLEASE apply all patches and use good security products…a cry we’ve been screaming at the masses for years now without much good coming from it. Maybe people will finally start to get it now…or be forced to get it in the near future.

    P.S. – Even Cloud computing will have it’s vulnerable spots probed, and has it’s weaknesses. If every computer is in the cloud under one security blanket, all it takes is one successful attack on the cloud security and every part of that network will be compromised when remote terminals connect.

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