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Friday, August 15

The New Virus v Microsoft

Ripped wholesale from a post I made at RAGE

Can I just take this opportunity to bitch about Microsoft? I think I can.

This particular virus (the new MSBlast one) is (apparently) aimed directly at Microsoft. At a certain time fairly soon, every copy of msblast.exe will launch on the host computer and attack Microsoft's servers, with the intention of overwhelming them through sheer weight of numbers. I don't think this is going to happen, but it's a fucking good idea.

My main point here is about why viruses (viri?) spread so quickly nowadays. It's due to Microsoft's complete and utter domination of the computer market. The people who write viruses only need to make them work within a Windows environment. Seeing as 99% of all computers use Windows, this means there is no need to make the virus compatible with, say, Linux.

The same applies to Outlook Express. All of the recent viruses have been spread through Outlook Express. This is again because its use has become widespread. Outlook comes bundled with Internet Explorer, the dominant (if not dictator-like) program in the field of web browsers. The problem with Outlook is that it has been, and still is, very easy to rip apart and find security holes in. I confess to having been privy to the code of a virus, and it's so simple the way in which it self-replicates and sends itself out.

The reason why these viruses are successful is because many of the people who use Outlook Express are not overly computer literate. Microsoft wants to put itself in as many homes as possible, and therefore makes its programs so easy to use that a monkey could run winXP without any problems. By doing this, however, they are allowing the intelligent people who write viruses to exploit the less computer-able amongst the online population.

Whilst on the subject of Internet Explorer's domination, I want to add that a similar thing to the virus writers exists amongst web designers. A few years ago, when Netscape was a serious competitor to IE, designers, especially those that used Javascript, had to cater for all web browsers. Now, they only code for IE, and maybe Opera if you're lucky. I'm gulity as charged of this, but it seems justified when I view my site statistics. 94% of my visitors use IE. Why code for anything else?

OK, so rant over. I just wanted to bitch about Microsoft and blame them for viruses and slipping web design standards. Job done.


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