Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 15th May 2017 16:18 UTC

Friday saw the largest global ransomware attack in internet history, and the world did not handle it well. We're only beginning to calculate the damage inflicted by the WannaCry program - in both dollars and lives lost from hospital downtime - but at the same time, we're also calculating blame.

There's a long list of parties responsible, including the criminals, the NSA, and the victims themselves - but the most controversial has been Microsoft itself. The attack exploited a Windows networking protocol to spread within networks, and while Microsoft released a patch nearly two months ago, it’s become painfully clear that patch didn’t reach all users. Microsoft was following the best practices for security and still left hundreds of thousands of computers vulnerable, with dire consequences. Was it good enough?

If you're still running Windows XP today and you do not pay for Microsoft's extended support, the blame for this whole thing rests solely on your shoulders - whether that be an individual still running a Windows XP production machine at home, the IT manager of a company cutting costs, or the Conservative British government purposefully underfunding the NHS with the end goal of having it collapse in on itself because they think the American healthcare model is something to aspire to.

You can pay Microsoft for support, upgrade to a secure version of Windows, or switch to a supported Linux distribution. If any one of those mean you have to fix, upgrade, or rewrite your internal software - well, deal with it, that's an investment you have to make that is part of running your business in a responsible, long-term manner. Let this attack be a lesson.

Nobody bats an eye at the idea of taking maintenance costs into account when you plan on buying a car. Tyres, oil, cleaning, scheduled check-ups, malfunctions - they're all accepted yearly expenses we all take into consideration when we visit the car dealer for either a new or a used car.

Computers are no different - they're not perfect magic boxes that never need any maintenance. Like cars, they must be cared for, maintained, upgraded, and fixed. Sometimes, such expenses are low - an oil change, new windscreen wiper rubbers. Sometimes, they are pretty expensive, such as a full tyre change and wheel alignment. And yes, after a number of years, it will be time to replace that car with a different one because the yearly maintenance costs are too high.

Computers are no different.

So no, Microsoft is not to blame for this attack. They patched this security issue two months ago, and had you been running Windows 7 (later versions were not affected) with automatic updates (as you damn well should) you would've been completely safe. Everyone else still on Windows XP without paying for extended support, or even worse, people who turn automatic updates off who was affected by this attack?

I shed no tears for you. It's your own fault.

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Comment by computrius
by computrius on Thu 18th May 2017 14:13 UTC
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"Nobody bats an eye at the idea of taking maintenance costs into account when you plan on buying a car. Tyres, oil, cleaning, scheduled check-ups, malfunctions"

Because those are all real non self afflicted problems, as opposed to computer problems which are mostly self afflicted or imaginary.

Even if one has the most secure version of windows 10 there ever was or will be, all he/she still has to do (and will do) is ignore the million times they have been told: "No, you didn't win the Nigerian lottery... DON'T OPEN EMAIL ATTACHMENTS", or "It doesn't matter how flashy the popup was and what kind of doctor suit the guy in the ad was wearing, no program is going to defy physics and reality by creating more physical RAM than what you already have."

Its amazing how totally secure windows xp was at the time. Now everyone says your an idiot for using it and has amnesia that they ever thought otherwise. Just as windows 10 is totally secure and safe and awesome now. In 10 years it will be Microsoft's biggest most insecure disaster that was never ever secure at any time.

And a final point. That old computer runs just as well today as it did 10 years ago (unless you did something stupid). It doesn't cost more to run than it did 10 years ago. For the most part you were careless and loaded it down with crap ware by downloading anything and everything you ever encountered and now falsely claim that it is "broken" because - shocker - it is now slow. Combine that with the fact that you see new and more powerful (albiet more stripped of your control or anything useful, because taking away ownership of your own device is "progress") computers and want those.

The more correct car analogy is that you are driving a 2007 car, and now you want a 2017.

Edited 2017-05-18 14:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2