Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 10:54 UTC, submitted by irbis
Bugs & Viruses "For at least a decade, the standard advice to every computer user has been to run antivirus software. But new, more commercial, more complex and stealthier types of malware have people in the industry asking: will antivirus software be effective for much longer? Among the threats they see are malware that uses the ability of the latest processors to run virtual machines that would be hidden from antivirus programs." Note: Please note that our icon contest is still running! So if you have an idea on how to rework this story's icon, read this.
Thread beginning with comment 273641
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: No
by Doc Pain on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 17:16 UTC in reply to "RE: No"
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

"In Unix/Linux it's quiet a lot easier."

In principle, it is, but not in reality. Let me explain:

"Give the user no privileges to install any software in the normal places, don't set executable-bit at mounting of data and home partitions. "

This would imply a difference between the user (who may not do the things mentioned above) and the administrator (who may do because it's his job). In today's world of UNIXes and Lunix, there's hardly a difference between user and administrator. A PC at home - a server at home (intended or due to malware running), but no administrator. Or put into other words: User and system administrator are the same person. Due to a lack of interest, knowledge, experience and maybe time, the "administrator part" does not do his work, but the "user part" wants to see the dancing bunnies.

The weakest part of a chain will cause a fraction. THis part usually is the user. The best means of security won't work if they are bypassed to increase comfortability or a "look and feel" the software manufacturer assumes his customers to require.

Of course, security is more important to UNIX / Linux than it is (or at least, has been) to "Windows". Hey, the Internet runs on UNIX, we can't afford dancing bunnies in routers and name servers! :-)

If you can't increase users' interest in security, even AV software will fail. Reality proves that it does in fact - just imagine why more than 90% of mail today is spam.

If you take responsibility away from users, they feel everyone thinks they're stupid. If you give responsibility to them, they feel overwhealmed and uncomfortable. In my personal opinion, today's Linux desktop OSes have found a good balance here. I wish "Windows" would do so, too, but - without wanting to insult anyone - "Windows" users still "have no time" to care about important things when they use a PC; the Linux users seem to be more educated and responsible in these regards. Of course, a computer is just a tool, but you still need to know a few things in order to handle it properly. Linux users have understood this requirement, so have Linux OSes.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: No
by netpython on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 17:39 in reply to "RE[2]: No"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Linux users have understood this requirement, so have Linux OSes.

That will change rapidly the more easier it becomes to install and run linux.

If you can't increase users' interest in security, even AV software will fail.

How much should "the user" know?
I mean if you are going to be operated should you for maximum effect be interested in surgical instruments?

In my personal opinion it's the IT sec scientists and other warriors job to educate those who write software.
If only a lot of software including OS's wouldn´t contain so much attack vectors.

Most people have an incomplete picture of organised crime. They simply don't comprehend organised crime has made an entry in cyberspace a long time ago.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: No
by Doc Pain on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 18:17 in reply to "RE[3]: No"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

In principle, we do agree. Your comment is worth some comments.

"That will change rapidly the more easier it becomes to install and run linux."

I hope it will.


"How much should "the user" know? I mean if you are going to be operated should you for maximum effect be interested in surgical instruments?"

If you don't want to be the victim of cheaply "remanufactured" single-use-instruments... :-) I see your analogy, you have a point there, but the computer is a tool, a means to achieve a certain goal. Simple conditional expression here: If I want to achieve the goal, I will need to use the tool; that's why I have to know how to handle the tool properly. To come back to your analogy: The surgeon needs to be intrested in surgical instruments, and you (as the one who is being treated by these instruments) trust him, you believe he has done his "homework". Good for you if he really did.

Back to OSes and viruses: As much distracting information should be taken away from the user, I agree here. The user does not use an OS, nor does he use an application program. He wants to see the dancing bunnies, so he will bypass or eliminate any obstacle in his way (i. e. any security barrier, warning). And he will be surprised if a (malware) attachment of the mail "Hi I'm Cindy come see my (insert secondary sexual organs here) now" won't open at once, showing a "security warning" or noting instead.

A user should have a minimum of common sense and the ability to understand his native language. Most of them do, but the ones who don't are the "weak part of the chain". Believing that anything the computer does "on its own" is okay is very dangerous. But so is software that just "simulates" security in order to calm the user. In Germany, we have a term for such behaviour: We call it "Budenzauber" ([boodantsowber] booth magic, or shindig) - shiny programs with lots of knobs and checkboxes, with blinking sqeaking buttons and colourful dialog boxes - that do not do anything they claim to do. (Some famous "Windows" firewalls are Budenzauber and spyware.)

Because people like car analogies, here's one: If we want to drive from A to B, I first need to know where A and B are (at least B if we assume we're located in A), we need to know how to drive, to shift gears, to brake and to accelerate, and we need to know about the rules of public traffic. The driving license usually attests us having this knowledge. A computer user would - according to this analogy - express as follows: "I don't know how to use a PC, but I want to have my photos out of the camera, make them better, and have them on a DVD with the newest music from the nternet playing along. I have no idea how to do it, but I want my DVD at once. The PC should know." You surely can imagine analog situations and claims.

To come back to the user: To find out more, feel free to read http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/ :-)

"In my personal opinion it's the IT sec scientists and other warriors job to educate those who write software."

But finally, there's someone who uses software. No matter how good developers do their job, there are "evil doers" all around soon doing a better job bypassing means of security. These criminals are usually very educated in regards of security, else they could not do their "job"...

If software does limit the user too much, he won't use it anyway. Remember: Applications should be able to do "everything". :-)

"If only a lot of software including OS's wouldn´t contain so much attack vectors."

You are right, of course. Usually, I think the more functionalities are included, the more attack vector appear. An OS with no Internet connection ability would be quite safe. :-)

"Most people have an incomplete picture of organised crime. They simply don't comprehend organised crime has made an entry in cyberspace a long time ago."

Yes, it has. There are whole "industries" doing data espionage and spam organisation. Theft of credit card data and individual information (in order to prepare advertisement organisation) are famous goals, too.

Reply Parent Score: 2