Spam increasing again

Apparently it’s increasing to close to pre-McColo ( one of the major sources of spam last year which was clsoed down ) levels. Levels are now at 74.6% which means that every 3 in 4 emails are spam. The Mega-D (Ozdoc) botnet is making the largest single contribution to junk mail levels, sending more than 26m spam emails per minute. Meanwhile, the Cutwail (Pandex) remains the largest active botnet with more than 1m active IPs this month. We are yet to see any junk mail from machines compromised by the Conficker worm.

OpenMoko anti-semitic and communist

It seems that a forged email at OpenMoko ( the free and open-source cellular handset ) was mistakenly sent out to the OpenMoko mailing list with some interesting content:

According to the email, Obama “completely supports the theft of trillions of American taxpayer dollars to the Zionist international bankers” and Obama leading “America, Palestine and the world to the bloody altar of Jewish Supremacism [sic]”.

This morning, the project sent out an apology and explanation that their email addresses were spoofed, which allowed the nutters in, and a fix was delayed by the Chinese New Year, amongst other things.

Twitter/LinkedIn malware

Most social networking and Web 2.0 sites have been victims of malware at some point or another and LinkedIn is no different. The latest threat relates to many phony profile pages which tempt users with pictures of nude celebrities. When the user clicks on one of the links, they are taken to an external site which attempts to launch an iFrame browser exploit and then redirects the user to other potentially harmful sites.

Earlier this week, Twitter itself was the victim of both a large phishing attack as well as the hacking an defacing of an number of celebrity accounts.

Moral of the story, think carefully about clicking on those links.

Microsoft’s AstroTurfing

Microsoft’s bullying tactics in the IT field are well known but one would have thought that they might have stopped with the AstroTurfing by now, seeing as many are wise to their tactics. But not according to one of their Technology Evangelists, James Plamondon.  For those unfamiliar with the term, AstroTurfing means that you, through covert means, attack opposition for gain ( ie. to mask that it has not come from you ) or through invalid advertising ( and now blogging ) inject false information about your opposition into the wider net. Examples include sending ‘gifts’ to bloggers for favorable reviews, or attacking journalists writing unfavorable reviews, though alternate media.

For those not used to the lengths that Microsoft will go or has gone to, take a look at the following post regarding the OOXML standards process and how MS seeks to monopolise the system.  And of course the now famous Massachusetts ODF issue. Microsoft essentially steamrolled and bullied the controllers of the decision using political influence to the point that people lost their jobs and resigned. Another example is Microsoft’s touting of ( non-existent? ) patents being exceeded by OpenSource projects,  similar to SCO’s farcical legal challenge against IBM and others. SCO never could provide evidence surrounding this so called smoking gun – something which should’ve been easy considering the data retention abilities of the internet. In fact the opposite occurred and this is possibly why Microsoft has never gone after any OSS projects as they likely would end up the loser as well. It seems that nothing is sacred to Microsoft.

And still, the number of people using commercially developed software from disreputable companies like Microsoft, is astonishing. The fact that there are well-suited, authored and freely available solutions available seems to slip them by. Why?

An acquaintance recently asked me to look into their dual PC which failed to boot the Windows XP partition correctly. The Ubuntu partition was used on occasion and contained a number of documents and pictures. They asked me to fix the Windows partition and move the documents from the working Ubuntu partition to the broken Windows partition, once it was fixed. Reason? There were a few document types they couldn’t ( or didn’t know how to ) open from their email client. Astonishing – why would someone suffer issues just because they were afraid to ask a question on usage?

Many questions and few answers. Is this ignorance? Is it MS’ hold on people due to stature? Due to an inbred resistance to anything else? To change? Advertising?

The fact is that change is coming whether you like it or not. FOSS has changed the landscape of more that just development ideologies and methodologies. It’s touching politics, social convention, standardisation and policy making. It’s time to get on the bandwagon or get left behind. Just like Microsoft is.