[LINK] Consumer computer security

Alan L Tyree alan at austlii.edu.au
Sun Jan 14 13:29:39 AEDT 2007

On Sun, 14 Jan 2007 12:53:26 +1100
Rick Welykochy <rick at praxis.com.au> wrote:

> Kim Holburn wrote:
> >> Attack of the Zombie Computers Is Growing Threat
> [SNIP]
> >> Sensor information collected by his company is now able to
> >> identify more than 250,000 new botnet infections daily, Mr. Wesson
> >> said.
> >>
> >> “We are losing this war badly,” he said. “Even the vendors
> >> understand that we are losing the war.”
> The blame for this should lie squarely on Microsoft's shoulders.
> But I preach to the converted :)
> (And we did chew through the topic of software liability on
> this very list last year)
> Interesting case in point. What on earth is this woman doing with a
> Win98 box on the Internet? There ought to be a law!

I agree with that. The thing about the EFT situation is that the Banks
and other providers are perfectly happy to let her hook up with Win98
or anything else. They won't make the investment to provide any secure
access, but now want to throw the losses on users. A fairly clear case
of externalities.

I would love to suggest that some of these losses be thrown onto
Microsoft, but I doubt that such a recommendation would meet with much
approval at ASIC!

> One thing still amazes me. After all the data loss, application
> corruption, lost time and money, reboots and crashes, people go out
> looking for "a better PC". It doesn't exist, folks! Stop beating
> yourselves, wise up and get something reliable and secure.
> > On 2007/Jan/13, at 8:50 PM, Alan L Tyree wrote:
> > 
> >> Hi Linkers,
> >> I'm looking for some help here. I'm writing a submission to ASIC
> >> on  the review of the EFT Code of Conduct. One of the things that
> >> Industry has been pushing for is to make consumers liable for
> >> losses caused by computers infected with malware.
> Oh, I wish! In other spheres of the economy and society,  people are
> actually responsible for damage they cause by negligent use of
> equipment, etc. But then again, in other spheres, manufactures and
> service providers are responsible as well.
> It is illegal to connect unapproved devices to the telecommunications
> system in this country. It is illegal to operate carriage service
> without proper licencing. Amazing then that it is just fine to
> connect a device to the Internet that can be used to send spam,
> launder money, distribute child pron and be used to attack other
> connected devices and the entire network. Amazing!
> >> The argument I wish to make is that consumers are hopelessly ill
> >> equipped to secure their (Windows) computers. Can someone point me
> >> to real research/statistics about the way that people *actually*
> >> run  their computers?
> Securing a computer system is a job for well-trained and experienced
> IT people. It is not now and never will be a job for the consumer, no
> more than fixing a car or repairing the electricals will be. The job
> of a software manufacturer is to provide reliable and secure product.
> Until that responsibility is legally enforced the problem will just
> get worse.
> I wish I could point you at some research done in this area, Alan,
> but I haven't run across anything yet.
> cheers
> rickw
> -- 
> _________________________________
> Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services
> Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display
> qualities which he does not possess.
>       -- Samuel Johnson
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Alan L Tyree                    http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~alan
Tel: +61 2 4782 2670            Mobile: +61 427 486 206
Fax: +61 2 4782 7092            FWD: 615662

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