Microsoft's Charney Suggests 'Net Tax to Clean Computers

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Original poster
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/190581/microsofts_charney_suggests_net_tax_to_clean_computers.html

Microsoft's Charney Suggests 'Net Tax to Clean Computers

By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service

How will we ever get a leg up on hackers who are infecting computers worldwide? Microsoft's security chief laid out several suggestions Tuesday, including a possible Internet usage tax to pay for the inspection and quarantine of machines:

Today most hacked PCs run Microsoft's Windows operating system, and the company has invested millions in trying to fight the problem.

Microsoft recently used the U.S. court system to shut down the Waledac botnet, introducing a new tactic in the battle against hackers. Speaking at the RSA security conference in San Francisco, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Trustworthy Computing Scott Charney said that the technology industry needs to think about more "social solutions."

That means fighting the bad guys at several levels, he said. "Just like we do defense in depth in IT, we have to do defense in depth in [hacking] response."

"I actually think the health care model ... might be an interesting way to think about the problem," Charney said. With medical diseases, there are education programs, but there are also social programs to inspect people and quarantine the sick.

This model could work to fight computer viruses too, he said. When a computer user allows malware to run on his computer, "you're not just accepting it for yourself, you're contaminating everyone around you," he said.

The idea that Internet service providers might somehow step up in the fight against malware is not new. The problem, however, is cost.

Customer calls already eat into service provider profits. Adding quarantine and malware-fixing costs to that would be prohibitive, said Danny McPherson, chief research officer with Arbor Networks, via instant message. "They have no incentive to do anything today."

So who would foot the bill? "Maybe markets will make it work," Charney said. But an Internet usage tax might be the way to go. "You could say it's a public safety issue and do it with general taxation," he said.

According to Microsoft, there are 3.8 million infected botnet computers worldwide, 1 million of which are in the U.S. They are used to steal sensitive information and send spam, and were a launching point for 190,000 distributed denial-of-service attacks in 2008.



Microsoft's Internet Tax. What an awesome idea. I've always wanted to pay for Microsoft's mistakes and the mistakes of people who actually chose their products. Especially as someone who doesn't use Windows (when he can help it.) I've never had a brother. But now I've got MS as Big Brother. **sniff, sniff.**
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,583
489
Melenkurion Skyweir
Seriously? The tax should be to subsidize people switching to Linux or OS X - the internet will be very much on the way to being virus-less then. :p
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,141
14,012
He's been saying this for years. MS just wants another way to strike it big again.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,132
4
Seriously? The tax should be to subsidize people switching to Linux or OS X - the internet will be very much on the way to being virus-less then. :p
The problem you run into is lets assume OSX was the majority at 90% market share. It would have a massive bot net problem.
Most of the viruses that spread bot nets are trojans. There is very little if anything an OS maker can do to guard again human stupidity.
Trojans work because people install them thinking it is something else. This turns their computer into a zombia and hows it to be used for DNS attacks, a spam mail server and so on.

Trogans get around all the security people like Apple and MS built into their OS because the user installs them and gives them permission to be installed. Trogans are a direct link to market share. 90% of the market is going to have 99% of the trogans.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,434
1,405
Isla Nublar
Wow a net tax to clean computers! What a stupid f*cking idea!

Its funny how the rich don't seem to care about raising taxes.

I'm sorry, I use mac and linux for a reason aside from productivity, its because of malware. Its not 100% accurate saying that "Windows has more malware cause most people run windows". Yes, that is a large extent, but windows is also terribly insecure and has the registry which is another source of problems.

As for trojans, people will always fall stupid to those. I just had a user an hour ago who tried to fix a problem by downloading some crapware minutes before I got to his office and now his machine is rediculously infected. His excuse was "Well the website I downloaded it from said it was legit".

I refuse to pay taxes for idiots like that.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
It figures. A Microsoft tax. They copy everything from Apple. :D
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,040
111
Canada, eh?
Hey, if Microsoft wants to charge additional "taxes" to cover the cost of their mistakes, I say be my guest -- all they have to do is raise the price of Windows by however much they want.

Sure, it'll mean they're that much less competitive than the alternatives, but hey, noble sacrifices in the name of protecting the customers, right?

Or maybe they should just own up to the fact that they screwed up, and fix their own problems without pretending that they belong to everyone else?
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,040
65
Plymouth, MN
OS X *has no* malware issues, viruses or otherwise.
Well Trojans are an issue, however the big issue with those is that they require user intervention and deceit to use them. As long as a user is involved, your system has a big gaping security hole and there is no OS on earth that can stop it. Such a system is always going to be a cat and mouse scenario.

Te only way to make computers secure is to remove all human interaction with them - that just isn't going to happen though. As long as humans are subject to deception, this problem will always be with us.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,132
4
Um-m-m-m, no.
Go look up how most bot nets are made and you will find out it is done by trogans. Trogans can just as easily infect macs as windows because they use user stupidity to get installed.
Trogans have more to do with market share than anything else because they by pass everything by using the biggest security hole in any os. That is the user.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,598
380
Redondo Beach, California
Trogans get around all the security people like Apple and MS built into their OS because the user installs them and gives them permission to be installed.
This is correct but if the OS has an access control list security built into it you can contain the trojan. With such a system the user does not simply say the new application is "OK", he checks boxes that allow (or not) certain activity. Like "This app may access the INternet Y/N". Or "This App may read files on the local hard disk Y/N".

There are other ways to contain apps. For example a spread sheet program should ONLY be able to read and write to spread sheet files and musci players should be be able to read speadsheet files.

The trick for Apple would be to make this easy to understand and use.
 

localoid

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2007
2,428
1,724
America's Third World
OS X *has no* malware issues, viruses or otherwise.
If you actually believe that you're living in denial, however we can be thankful that Apple has decided to take a more realistic and proactive approach to the OS X malware threat.

Apple now includes a system within Snow Leopard that detects known malicious software, including the OSX.RSPlug.A Trojan Horse (first discovered in 2007) and the OSX.iService malware (embedded in the pirated iWork installer).



You can learn more on this subject, from the MacWorld article: Inside Snow Leopard's hidden malware protection
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Original poster
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
Windows 7 is considered by IT security experts to be MORE secure than Snow Leopard.
I'm sure it is.

Almost as secure as running an OS for which there is no malware at all in the wild. MS has to defend against nearly everything. Apple has to defend against nothing. And judging by Windows 7's popularity (or rather, ubiquity), this situation will continue indefinitely.
 

djellison

macrumors 68020
Feb 2, 2007
2,228
4
Pasadena CA
LTD - i've asked via PM, I'll now ask in public.

Do not reply to my posts. You are on my ignore list. Little if anything of what you say is either valid or of interest. Please do not reply to my posts again.
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,779
211
UK
I'm sure it is.

Almost as secure as running an OS for which there is no malware at all in the wild. MS has to defend against nearly everything. Apple has to defend against nothing. And judging by Windows 7's popularity (or rather, ubiquity), this situation will continue indefinitely.
How can you say that when localoid's post just proved you wrong? And when most IT experts think that Windows 7 is more secure than Snow Leopard? You're outnumbered *LTD* - the world vs you. Best put another round of Apple favoured links in your post gun.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors 604
May 28, 2005
7,986
535
Pennsylvania
while I have no intention of feeding the LTD troll, could someone please post the link again, as I have LTD on my ignore list too and would like to see the article.