back to article Microsoft and FBI storm ramparts of Citadel botnets

The ZeuS-derived Citadel botnet, which rose to public prominence last year, is being progressively disabled by Microsoft and the FBI is on the hunt for its masters. Microsoft says Citadel was used to raid bank accounts around the world and netted more than $US500m. Redmond's Digital Crimes Unit says 1,000 of the estimated 1,400 …

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Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

I would love to do the same thing except there's a couple problems.

1: My parents aren't smart enough to use Linux, it took me long enough to teach my mum to use windows for gods sakes

2: I still refuse to pay over the odds for a mac, ditto for the rest of my family.

Instead, when a non tech person I know gets a new laptop / PC, the first thing I do is look up what is currently rated the best free anti-virus (since it seems to change yearly) then install that, malwarebytes, spyware blaster / spybot S&D. Stops them getting spyware, and removes any that may be on there.

Of course this may change next time somebody buys a new computer, who knows what the current standings of various security software are right now.

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Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

My parents aren't smart enough to use Linux, it took me long enough to teach my mum to use windows for gods sakes

That doesn't make any sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

No but it fits nicely into the Microsoft FUD mantra that Apple is too expensive and linux is too hard and Windows is the only acceptable solution

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

Oooh,, fancy vada-ing Eadon's dolly old eek here.

Trolling in.

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Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

"almost ALWAYS end up in a botnet"

exaggeration for effect, or just to annoy?

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2: I still refuse to pay over the odds for a mac, ditto for the rest of my family.

I advise all friends to buy macs.

None of those who have heeded that advice have ended up spending as much as those who ignored it.

Macs are usually well built. (You have to pay close to the same price for a similar quality PC). And they keep working. With minimal maintenance compared to windows.

They generally last twice as long and don't require continual money spent on them.

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Linux

Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

>>1: My parents aren't smart enough to use Linux, it took me long enough to teach my mum to use windows for gods sakes

My neighbours have only recently mastered copy/paste.

Three years ago I put Ubuntu 10.04 on their then new laptop.

I have not had any technical support calls from them in that time.

No AV software is installed and it is still working perfectly.

If you want the easy option, buy them a Chromebook.

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Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

I can probably get my dad using linux just fine, I was going to install it on his old laptop to try and give it a second lease on life. But my mum is, for lack of a better word, computer inept.

She still asks me what to do when a popup appears on screen, she used to be afraid of unplugging the computer incase she lost all the data.

It's not so much that she wouldn't grasp how it worked eventually, it's more a case of I don't want to have to teach her how to do things again, she's one of the folks where she'll ask about everything, and how every aspect works. I just don't have the patience to go through all that again.

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WTF?

Re: 2: I still refuse to pay over the odds for a mac, ditto for the rest of my family.

Eadon, can you tell me at which point in time a Mac was not a PC? Thanks!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

There have been plenty of Linux worms though. Don't forget that the worst internet virus infection ever (the Morris Worm) was on UNIX machines!

Mac OS-X also has had a number of java remote exploits lately.

And both Linux and Mac OS-X have several times more security vulnerabilities than Windows.

The only reason they are not targeted is market share - Linux ~1% and OS-X ~3%

If you look at say Web Hosting where Linux is actually used then the statistics show that you are several times more likely to be remotely hacked running a Linux server than a Windows one....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2: I still refuse to pay over the odds for a mac, ditto for the rest of my family.

"it's also an advantage that Apple desktop hardware is free of the "trusted computing"-style MS-signed UEFI"

uhm - that's a disadvantage. Secure boot is a good thing and prevents the OS from being compromised by rootkits....

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Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

"That doesn't make any sense."

Depends on what they intend to do with the PC. If the answer is play games, watch Netflix, manage their iTunes collection, use MS Word or whatnot, then good luck trying to set up Linux to satisfy their needs.

If however they just want to browse the web, or just need a word processor (without caring who makes it) then probably Linux would fit the bill. It would still be best to choose a simple to use dist like Ubuntu or Fedora running GNOME 3 where the chances of them screwing up are minimized.

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Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

The Morris worm was in 1988, for crying out loud.

"And both Linux and Mac OS-X have several times more security vulnerabilities than Windows." A nice word for this is "disingenuous", some might prefer "contentious" but I think "drivel" fits quite nicely.

So. Irrelevant, technically inaccurate, larded with FUD. That would be astroturfing, then.

How are things at Burston Marsteller today, Mr AC?

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Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

"How are things at Burston Marsteller today, Mr AC?"

He's not MR AC- he's The Vogon/RICHTO and many other AC posts that are all so obviously from the same person it's pathetic.

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Re: My parents aren't smart enough to use Linux ..

"To test how hard it is for an average user to find their way around Ubuntu, I had my grandmother (top right) and the lady who cuts my hair (above left) give it a try .. it took them just seconds to figure out where to go in Ubuntu to accomplish the task. Neither one complained about using OpenOffice (I didn't tell them it wasn't Microsoft Office, and they didn't seem to notice a difference), nor about using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. They had work to do and the operating system and applications didn't get in their way at all." Matt Asay March 2008

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

Eadong, this botnet was pre-installed by someone creating an infected Windows ISO which was downloaded by pirates.

If you install pirate software then this is always a risk.

There is nothing stopping someone doing the same thing with Linux, pre-installing some backdoor.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'd never trust non-techies with Windows online.

Rubbish. These were pirate copies of Windows that were pre-loaded with malware.

Much of the infected Windows machines around the world are unpatched versions of Windows that are unlicenced.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 2: I still refuse to pay over the odds for a mac, ditto for the rest of my family.

Macs are well designed I think you mean. The building of machines is done by the same people who build other laptops. Often slapping on way too much heatsink compound.

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Re:Don't have the patience to go through all that again

No, but now I've got to because increasing incompatability of web browsers means I'm going to have to move my 80 something mother on to Windows 7 or something...

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Stop

Re: 2: I still refuse to pay over the odds for a mac, ditto for the rest of my family.

I agree on the hardware aspect, I personally switched to a MacBook 5 years ago, that Mac is now still in use and working well, whilst I've recently upgraded to a newer model. Previously I was updating hardware every 12 - 18 months - with kit losing value even quicker it worked out to be very costly. I always recommend to friends and family that they swallow the cost and buy a Mac as they'll get much better value for money in the long run.

As for all the Windows haters on here, I run Windows every day on my Mac, I have no viruses. I manage a business running Windows all day every day, and we have no viruses. The claims that "turn a windows PC on and it'll be riddled with viruses" are just not true. They're scaremongering tactics.

Windows is more secure today than ever and PROVEN to be more secure than Linux (and therefore Mac OS) however the difference that everyone needs to remember is that whilst Windows is running on by far the majority of computers worldwide it makes every bit of sense for virus manufacturers to target that OS. Hence more viruses do exist for Windows.

Furthermore, Microsoft (someone has to say a nice word about them) have a record of responding by far the fastest of any OS maker to vulnerabilities providing patches and fixes for them. Unfortunately, Apple are the slowest, and Linux (variants) seem to sit somewhere in the middle. For an OS that is unfortunately being targeted due to it's dominant marketshare, it's not a bad thing that MS are so responsive to malware attacking their OS.

Give them a break!

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Anonymous Coward

demonstrating another link between software piracy and global cybersecurity threats.

So a fraudster not paying for his dev tools means that someone downloading a dodgy copy of something is supporting them?

How to undermine your own arguments by making ridiculous links.

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Anonymous Coward

Aquabox?

Didn't they make that song "Barbie Girl' in the 90's?!

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Re: Aquabox?

Nope, that's AQUA.

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WTF?

Open Source code and the evolution of malware?

Dear elREG editor .. please mention the words botnet, keylogging and 'open source' in the one article, signed bg

"Citadel, whose capabilities include keylogging, emerged after the source code for the infamous ZeuS cybercrime toolkit was released in 2011. The combination of open source code and forums for virus-writers allowed it to evolve quickly, getting features such as encrypted malware configuration files and blacklisting of security vendor Websites".

The source code for malware has *always* been available online, if you know where to look. That you seek to link such malware to `open source code' merely demonstrates that you've been drinking too long from the fountain of open source FUD ®

keywords: botnet, cybercrime toolkit, cybercriminals, encrypted malware, forums for virus-writers, global cybersecurity threats, keylogging, legitimate anti-virus/anti-malware, open source code, software piracy ...

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What was Eadon's blog running when it got hacked?

Surely not windows?

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Linux

Windows will always be a Petri dish

Windows will always be a Petri dish. If they can't fix their swiss cheese security model in almost 30 years they're not going to do it now.

Thank goodness the world is finally starting to move on. Linux and Android for the win. Apple for the overpriced win, but still a win for ditching Microsoft. It's about time.

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