Saturday, March 14, 2009

BBC created botnet from pwned PC's

From the Register. Clicky thingy it to read:

BBC zombie caper slammed by security pros

This is a really interesting one. A few points:

1. Clearance for this programme went all the way up. It was cleared by the lawyers and compliance.

2. Journalists, unlike Gary McKinnon, can hide behind "public interest". If it's an investigation that can be shown to be of benefit to the great unwashed, they're probably in the clear.

And the big ones for me:

3. Mircrosoft are SO culpable in this whole sorry mess. There is no reason to use such broken, compromised software. They broke NT to lever Windows on it and it's been broken ever since. Class action time. Anyone who has suffered a loss through Windows brokenness should sue.

4. Why isn't there an agency in the country allowed, no, mandated, to do what the BBC did? If a PC is compromised, then pwn it, disable it and load up a screensaver telling people to get it to a techie to get it cleaned. We're letting drunk, stoned drivers loose on the information superhighway.

More Linux and more Macs.


Dylan said...

Hey Dave,

long time no see.

Interesting story - though I think Microsoft will use the "we supply the patches, what you do with them is up to you" line.

Why aren't the ISP's doing more to defend their own clients? If they can do deep packet inspection to track for illegally shared copyrighted material, then why can't they look for the common fingerprints of botnets and then block those clients?

Upstream liability needs to be thought about more - aren't the ISPs are also culpable when they allow infected machines access out of their network and onto the big bad web?


Billy Abbott said...

There was, of course, a thread about this over on the Backstage list (dunno if you're on it). The main issue that sparked discussion there was that the program didn't say that it was all Microsoft's fault...

Alex said...

@Dylan: I'd be surprised if any ISPs are using deep packet inspection to find customers unlawfully sharing copyright material. Chances are, they're just passing on the notices they get from the RIAA/MPAA/ESA's contracted agents who probably just participate in torrents and see who's offering what.

SG said...

hey Dave, thanks for this (unfortunately i missed the programme due to working OT). i especially love your metaphor: 'We're letting drunk, stoned drivers loose on the information superhighway'. very well stated and totally spot-on. :-)

/rimone x