[HCI-Sec] Mossberg: A Digital Crime Wave

http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/report-200504.html


THE WINDOWS COMPUTING PLATFORM is in a genuine crisis. Windows computers are being attacked, every day, by an international army of digital criminals who seek to spy on users, turn their own computers against them and deface, corrupt or destroy their data.

There have long been computer viruses, but until the past couple of years, they were mainly a nuisance. Now they have grown into a serious problem-by one account there were 5,000 new Windows viruses discovered in the first six months of 2004. And the virus plague has been trumped by a new type of malicious software, spyware, which can track your activities, bombard you with unwanted ads, even steal your identity.

Spam has also grown exponentially, clogging e-mail boxes and carrying with it malicious software. For some people, e-mail has become a curse.

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What users need is a simple, all-encompassing security service that would deal with all these threats with minimal user involvement. For now, though, you'll have to do it yourself.

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