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The Moron Resistance

Posted 01-20-2009 at 10:39 AM by bitpicker

On a different forum I've been having quite a lively discussion on computer security. The most recent worm outbreak which, as of today, appears to have infected at least ten million computers, has triggered some comments by myself about the sorry state of Windows security.

I am comparing Windows to a house sold to you without any doors because this is oh so user-friendly. No fiddling with locks, just walk in and out whenever you feel like it.

And when, some time later, all valuables have been removed from your house because everyone else to your eternal surprise has used the selfsame lack of doors to walk in and out of your house at their leisure, Microsoft sends you a lead curtain on patch day.

You know what I got as a reply? You can't sell a computer when you tell the customer he has to log in, provide a password, be able to tell user rights from root rights, use su or sudo to elevate rights when needed, and in general do a bit of learning. No, customers don't want to be told their computer might not be just another just-works gadget like their TV or microwave oven.

No, apparently they rather buy the user-friendly computer which slows to a grinding halt within weeks, surprises them with blue screens of death at random intervals, and is soon riddled with more viruses than Typhoid Mary.

At least they get to yell at the seller later who never found it in him to warn them.

You get that type of 'the customer is always right' mentality everywhere. And of course customers usually are wrong. But woe to the vendor who tries to save customers from themselves and tells them so.

I give courses on various IT topics. I get people wanting to learn about search engine optimization, about creating websites with a relatively obscure CMS, even (gasp!) Linux. But the course on IT security? No takers. Apparently people prefer to remain ignorant.

Really, forget countering 'I'm a PC' and 'I'm a Mac' campaigns with 'I'm Linux'. We should have an 'I'm a Moron' campaign instead. At least people could relate to that.

Rant over.
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  1. Old Comment
    We should have an 'I'm a Moron' campaign instead. At least people could relate to that.
    Indeed. Unfortunately, "not me" syndrome would take over, and people *still* wouldn't get it.

    But, at least ignorance keeps us IT types employed haha
    Posted 01-20-2009 at 02:05 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Funny you should mention this on two levels for me: I got my A+/Network+ and now am studying for the Security+. Second I just found the wonders of Linux about 6 weeks ago..liked it so much invested in a system76 Ubuntu pre-installed. I have also tried Fedora, OpenSuse, and currently fighting my way thru Slackware. So I am enlightened now, I want my computer to be secure and I want to know whats going on under the hood, I spend time everyday learning the bash shell and am taking another course besides Security+, taking Perl programming. Now I am spoiled I do not want to spend a dime on any software and I can't believe how blind I was after wasting literally thousands of dollars over the years on Windows. Of course I have to stay abreast of Windows because I own a computer repair business. So I say let the ignorant remain ignorant. If everyone used Linux I'd be like the computer equivalent of the Maytag repair man ...good post..
    Posted 01-23-2009 at 07:42 PM by rtrahan rtrahan is offline


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