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

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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Which version?
by CruelAngel on Mon 15th May 2017 16:48 UTC
CruelAngel
Member since:
2011-08-03

While I personally don't use Windows (I'm a Linux guy), can I get a confirmation, that only Windows 7 and older versions of Windows were affected by this vulnerability? (So Windows 8 and 10 are not.)
I'm asking because I'm the supposed "techguy" in the eyes of my family members, so they are pestering me if they are safe.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Which version?
by tidux on Mon 15th May 2017 17:13 in reply to "Which version?"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

Windows 10 isn't safe ever, thanks to Microsoft's inane spying bullshit, but if fully patched it's not vulnerable to WannaCrypt.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Which version?
by codejockey on Mon 15th May 2017 17:45 in reply to "Which version?"
codejockey Member since:
2010-12-31

This article identifies which unsupported OS versions did not have a patch available:
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/msrc/2017/05/12/customer-guidanc...

Windows Vista was still receiving updates in March (when the patch was issued), but is now unsupported.

Windows 8 is unsupported, but Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 are still receiving updates.

Edited 2017-05-15 17:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1