stories filed under: "cornficker"
Mon, Feb 16th 2009 7:11am
When I started seeing stories all over the web about Microsoft's offer of a $250,000 bounty for the authors of the Conficker virus, I thought that the plan sounded awfully familiar. Going through the Techdirt archives, I turned up some stories on bounties for phishers and spammers, then found a post from 2003 talking about how the company had set aside $5 million for bounties on people who wrote viruses and worms. While it's not clear if Microsoft has actually paid out any of that cash, it is pretty clear that the bounty plan hasn't done much to make Windows any more secure since it was announced. And neither will this latest bounty. Like the previous plan, it's gotten Microsoft tons of press that makes the company look tough -- but it doesn't solve the underlying security problems of the Windows platform. Catching the people who wrote the Conficker worm won't undo any of the problems they've exposed, and it certainly won't make Windows users any more secure.
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Feb 9th 2009 1:25pm
Unpatched, Virus-Infected Windows To Blame For Grounded French Fighter Pilots And Halt To Traffic Arrests In Houston
from the gov't-security dept
Reader Calvin sends in two separate stories of government institutions who apparently failed to patch their Windows machines to protect against the Conficker virus -- despite the patch being available for many months. First, Houston police have stopped arresting people with outstanding traffic warrants and shut down the municipal court system for a few days to try to deal with their computer systems being overrun by the virus. Then, across the Atlantic, the French Navy is dealing with a similar problem, forcing them to ground many of their fighter planes. Some naval staff were told not to turn on their computers at all, as apparently the Navy's internal computer network has been hit by the virus as well. Apparently, now might be a good time to run some traffic lights in Houston or invade France (kidding, kidding...).