20 March 2007 | 3,182 views

Up to a Quarter of Internet Connected Machines Could be Zombies

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It’s a scary thought to find out perhaps a quarter of Internet connected machines could be zombies…The sad part is, I think it could well be true, as most of the non tech savvy Internet users I know still use Internet Exploder and their machines are riddled with crapware, trojans, viruses and spyware.

Imagine how many Internet enabled PC’s there are…

Criminals controlling millions of personal computers are threatening the internet’s future, experts have warned.

Up to a quarter of computers on the net may be used by cyber criminals in so-called botnets, said Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet.

Technology writer John Markoff said: “It’s as bad as you can imagine, it puts the whole internet at risk.”

The panel of leading experts was discussing the future of the internet at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The Internet was not built to be resilient to such things, there’s an inherent problem with the Internet and the level of education and awareness of the average Internet user.

Before AOL there was a certain intellectual barrier to getting online, it wasn’t that straight forwards and required a little bit of grey matter.

Now it’s SO easy to get online….the average intelligence of Internet users has dropped dramatically.

Mr Cerf, who is one of the co-developers of the TCP/IP standard that underlies all internet traffic and now works for Google, likened the spread of botnets to a “pandemic”.

Of the 600 million computers currently on the internet, between 100 and 150 million were already part of these botnets, Mr Cerf said

Botnets are made up of large numbers of computers that malicious hackers have brought under their control after infecting them with so-called Trojan virus programs.

And yes, you guessed it…one of the main problems is our good friend Microsoft and their lovely secure Windows.

Plus on top of that, the proliferation of pirated copies of Windows, pressed pirated CD’s of Windows Vista are already available in China and probably other places like Malaysia and Thailand too.

A shocking 50% of these pirated versions come with Trojans pre-installed.

Operating systems like Microsoft Windows, meanwhile, still made it too easy for criminals to infiltrate them, the experts said.

Microsoft had done a good job improving security for its latest operating system, Windows Vista, said Mr Markoff.

But already pirated copies of Vista were circulating in China, even though the consumer launch of Vista has been scheduled for next Tuesday.

Experience showed that about 50% of all pirated Windows programs came with Trojans pre-installed on them, Mr Markoff said.

Ah what to do, just protect yourself and educate those you can be bothered to listen you.

We’ll just let the rest of the world screw themselves up.

Source: BBC News



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