WannaCry [OT]

Richmond Mathewson richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Sat May 13 13:05:06 EDT 2017


I cannot afford to be smug as my Linux rig (Xubuntu 16.04 64-bit) was 
hosed completely about 4 months ago and I only
managed to reciver about 5% of my files.

What I do not understand is how organisations like the British State 
Health System (NHS) cane be so bl**dy stupid to
rely on Windows, without (obviously) all sorts of safeguards.

My "underpants" may have a few holes in them, but everyone knows that 
Windows is more holes than underpants,
and it has been quite adequately demonstrated that Windows executables 
running under WINE on Linux tend to be faster and
less vulnerable to viruses.

In about 1985, when I was an undergraduate, the news about AIDS was 
suddenly announced, and the TV and radio was
banging on about "preventative measures": obviously the British medical 
authorities know their stuff re medical matters, but when it
comes to computer systems they neither know anything much about them, 
nor do they employ people who do.

----------

  Many years ago I read a science fiction book about people living in a 
ploice state on Venus, which was, for the purposes
of the story, a steamy, soggy jungle planet with lots of muddy, hummocky 
islands in one big bog. The rebels started communicating
via AM radio (Amplitude Modulated) because the authorities of the 
dictatorship had forgotten about that "old-Tech" and were
using FM (Frequency Modulated) equipment for all their communication needs.

Three days ago I got an e-mail from a chap in Ireland using a Commodore 64!

So, the answer, for us folks who don't have "endless boodle" to 
constantly upgrade/update our machines, may lie in
retreating into using ancient machines . . . . so, I suppose my Summer 
will be spent on getting a Winchester disc into
my BBC Master Compact and sorting out how to get the 5-pin DIMM 
connection at the back to let me send and recieve e-mail
messages: after all, in 1989 I was using it, via Etisalat, to 
communicate with various services even before the internet started.

You cannot send a virus to a BBC because the whole system resides on a 
ROM chip!

Anyway, just at the moment I'm dusting off my G3 iMac running Mac OS 
9.2.2 with Classilla.

Richmond.

On 5/13/17 6:36 pm, Richard Gaskin via use-livecode wrote:
> Richmond Mathewson wrote:
> > " The WannaCry virus only infects machines running Windows"
> >
> > http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39896393
> >
> > Err . . . Linux
>
> While it's true that this particular exploit is dependent on a 
> Windows-specific vulnerability, this is no time for smugness. There's 
> a larger issue here relevant for all of us:
>
> IF YOUR SYSTEM US NO LONGER RECEIVING UPDATES, IT'S NO LONGER 
> RECEIVING CRITICAL SECURITY PATCHES FOR KNOWN VULNERABILITIES.
>
> Any such system, if connected to any network that connects to the 
> Internet, should be considered too dangerous to use.
>
> Doesn't matter whether it's Windows, macOS, or Linux.  Once the OS has 
> reached EOL, either upgrade to a supported OS version or turn off all 
> network connectivity.
>
>
> This exploit has become a global tragedy, but worse is that it appears 
> to have been preventable:
>
> Microsoft issued a patch protecting against this months ago, and for 
> the (shockingly large number of) machines still running XP, Microsoft 
> spent literally millions over a many years reminding everyone of XP's 
> EOL date and encouraging them to upgrade to a supported OS version.
>
> Apple (for reasons only they can discern but AFAIK have not disclosed) 
> are less kind to their users, often stopping updates without explicit 
> notice and little if any forewarning.  They do advertise when new 
> versions are available, but generally haven't provided clear notice 
> when EOL is reached for a given version. For example, when Snow 
> Leopard reached EOL, even though some 19% of all Macs were still 
> running it, no notification was provided that it would not be 
> receiving patches; it simply stopped getting them.
>
> With Ubuntu, EOL date is well advertised even before a version is 
> released.  That project follows a fixed release cycle in which all 
> long-term support versions get exactly five years of updates, and all 
> interim releases get 18 months of updates.  You know even before you 
> download exactly when it will reach EOL.
>
> With all three, once you know it's reached EOL you must either 
> upgrade, or put yourself and your organization at risk.
>
> If the post-EOL exploits that occurred with Best Buy and Target a 
> couple summers ago didn't drive the point home clearly enough, 
> yesterday's global attack should:  "What, me worry?" is not a sound IT 
> policy.
>




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