Print 102 comment(s) - last by Iketh.. on Oct 18 at 2:50 AM

Unbeknowst to you, your computer could be a double agent, committing cybercrime as part of a internet-connected botnet. Over 2.2 million American PCs are part of some botnet, according to Microsoft.  (Source: Ubisoft)
U.S. leads the world in botnet virus infection rates

According to a new 240-page security report from Microsoft dubbed the Security Intelligence Report, America is among the most infected countries in the world when it comes to botnets.  The report uses information collected in the first half of 2010 via the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool.

Over 2.2 million PCs in the U.S. are infected with a virus that makes them part of one of the internet's massive botnets.  The term "botnet" refers to a group of connected computers that can be used for ill purposes such as spamming, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and mass credit card fraud.

Brazil came in second place for most infected computers, with 550,000 botnet-infected PCs.  Per computer population, though South Korea had the highest rate (though its total number of infected machines is lower than that of the U.S. or Brazil).  In South Korea 14.6 out of 1,000 PCs are in a botnet, versus 5.2 computers out of 1,000 in the U.S.

Cliff Evans, head of security and identity at Microsoft UK, comments to 
BBC News, "Most people have this idea of a virus and how it used to announce itself.  Few people know about botnets."

Fewer people perhaps know about Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool (MRT).  MRT has been is a free tool Microsoft includes with Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.  First released in 2005, the tool is easy to run -- just go to "Start", type "run" in the search bar, and then type "mrt" (case insensitive) in the resulting popup.  The tool will then activate and be ready to scan your computer and remove many common types of malware.

Perhaps if everyone learns how to use the MRT, America can escape earning the dubious distinction of being the world's biggest botnet participant in 2011.  Given the general public's ignorance of security, that seems unlikely, though.

Despite the difficulty in getting the public to practice proper security, Microsoft is taking steps to try to win the war against botnet masters on its own.  The company recently seized control over 276 internet domains that were being used by botnet owners.  And it has beefed up the securityof its most recent operating system, Windows 7, making it harder to infect new PCs.

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RE: Windows, the hole filled waste of an OS.
By sprockkets on 10/14/2010 4:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
Well to be fair, having a home partition is no different that partitioning your drive. Is it transparent to the user in Windows? No.. but the effect is the same.

No it isn't, because your user folder ALWAYS is on the same drive as the OS with Windows. It's convenient to use the start menu, and click on your name to access all your files, docs, etc. But you can't use those built in locations if you put all your stuff on a different HDD.

With Linux, /home can be located on any partition or drive. That way, / can be on a SSD and your data and swap (I only need swap to hibernate) on a normal HDD.

Format "c:" and you lose your home folder. You can get around that by simply deleting everything but the user folder, but that requires booting in with the install disc or a Linux boot disc. After that, manually moving over the user data works.

RE: Windows, the hole filled waste of an OS.
By Luticus on 10/14/2010 4:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
your user folder ALWAYS is on the same drive as the OS with Windows

as you can see from the link you can actually change where your user information is stored on a windows system. however this does not move the profile as a whole, just the users file storage (documents, music, etc.) if you want to move the defualt profile location do this:
but honestly is it really THAT big a deal. just save things manually to the second drive and you're done. Not that critical in my opinion.

RE: Windows, the hole filled waste of an OS.
By sprockkets on 10/14/2010 4:47:37 PM , Rating: 2
With Linux it doesn't require any hacking, and I can set it before it gets installed.

Installing Windows, then having to change it later creates a whole mess. Judging by the comments made in the article shows how much of a chore it can be.

I am aware of the environmental variables, but add the feature to the OS during install and at the very least, the control panel, not hacking the registry.

By Luticus on 10/15/2010 11:28:37 AM , Rating: 2
I've got to had it to you that with regards to this feature you're right. it is much easier to plant your home directory on a different partition/hard disk in linux, it's one of the several advantages to going with linux. I think everyone knows linux is a more customizable interface than windows (which is also part of the reason it's more difficult to use for common folk). I was simply stating that you can do that in windows if you want to, not that it was easy.

Persoanlly i believe that linux is great! I'm actually a huge fan of linux! I, however, am also of the opinion that linux is not ready for mass adoption yet and it is not a real comptetitor to windows yet. it's come a long way and it still has a long way to go but i think it certainly has a chance with a lot of the newer distros that are poping up.

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