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Week of February 9, 2004

Hey YOU - Windoze user - stop a moment. Read this.

Below you will find a link to Apple Computer. Click it. Browse to their hardware section and pick out a computer and buy it.

Apple computers come with OS X, the flashiest version of Unix available. They're incredibly good for the money.

So click the link - and don't come back here until your new computer arrives and you're online with Unix. OK, bye.


Many in the security community say the SoBig family - and possibly Bagle.A - are the work of an organised group of criminals.
  - Dennis Fisher, eWEEK

What's that? You're still around? You lamed out, didn't you? You didn't have the character to do the right thing, did you?

OK - then click the next link below. It goes to the Linux kernel site. There's nothing to buy there - just look around.

Linux is a free version of Unix, started a dozen years ago by Linus Torvalds of the University of Helsinki. It's become dominant on the server side of things on the Internet. In case you don't understand what the server side of things is, it's all those other computers you hook up to when you're surfing. For example, both Amazon and Google run Linux exclusively today.

So browse around and then come back here. Now click the link below.


SoBig.F and Bagle.A have the capability to log users' keystrokes, enabling the theft of passwords and other sensitive data.
  - Dennis Fisher, eWEEK

You don't want to download just the Linux kernel - that's for the so-called 'distros' to do for you. A Linux 'distro' is a complete setup for your computer.

It's 'x86-based', meaning it will run on your junky Windoze computer without a hitch - until your computer itself falls apart, that is, which considering the way you shop can't be very long now. But after all, you opted to wimp out and not buy an Apple, so there's no one to blame but yourself, right?

These worms are being used as tools for large-scale identity theft and financial fraud.
  - Dennis Fisher, eWEEK

Now to get Linux, you want not to download the so-called kernel; you want to download a 'distro' instead. A distro will include not only the Linux kernel, but a so-called 'desktop' - in other words, a GUI.

There are two popular desktops for Linux, Gnome and KDE. Each of their links are immediately below. Browse to these sites, but be sure to come back.

Gnome  KDE

They're being used to further massive financial crimes, trying to achieve a criminal outcome.
  - John Frazzini, iDefense Inc.

There's also a third desktop, called Ximian, which networking giant Novell now own. Their link is below. As before, browse on over, but be sure to come back again.


The various fake e-mail messages purporting to come from PayPal, eBay Inc and a variety of banks asking for passwords and account numbers are being generated by these same proxies.
  - Dennis Fisher, eWEEK

Now all of the above products will work on your rickety PC junkbox, but the trick is to get them all packaged together so it's easier for you. Following are links to a number of Linux 'distros' which simplify the process so even you can handle it. Again, 'just browse' - there are some very valuable pointers waiting for you on the other side.

Debian  Gentoo  Lindows  Mandrake  Red Hat  Slackware  SuSE  Xandros

It's very plausible that it's more than just a set of script kiddies doing this.
  - Ian Hameroff, Computer Associates

Now it doesn't matter if you're just a home user or a corporate user: many of these 'distros' are geared for scalability and are suitable for use within your corporate network as well. Especially SuSE and Novell, both owned in part by IBM, are applicable. Click the link below to see what IBM are doing about Linux.


This could be ushering in a new era of malware.
  - Ian Hameroff, Computer Associates

OK, so now you know: whether you're in the corporation or the kitchen, there's a solution for you. If you're in the kitchen, you'll probably want to opt for either of the Lindows or the Xandros 'distros'. Click the links below and read how easy these two are to set up - easier in fact than Windoze itself.

eWEEK's Lindows Review    eWEEK's Xandros Review

OK, so now you know.

What you may not have known, however, is that all the misery on the Internet today is caused by - are you ready - YOU.

It's caused by you because you run WINDOWS.

That's right: all the catastrophes with viruses and worms and trojans and keystroke loggers only affect Windows machines. None other.

This is really a new wave.
  - Ken Dunham, iDefense, Inc.

And even if the rest of us don't get infected like you do, we're still on the Internet, and the increase in traffic because you're out there, surfing along on your Windows box, is horrendous, and it's ruining the Internet we love.

This virtual neighbourhood we live in wasn't meant to be overrun by the likes of you.

OK, so don't read any farther in this article. Go back to the top, start from the beginning, and pick a link and stick with it. And don't come back online until you've made a change. OK, bye.

The combined cost for damages world-wide for the worms of the past half dozen years attacking only Microsoft Windows computers is in excess of $132 billion - or more than double what Bill Gates himself is worth on a good day at NASDAQ.
  - eWEEK

You're still here? What are you doing here?

OK, what the heck - click the link below to run home to Mummy. And when you get there, cry your eyes out, you little lamer, you spineless wimp, and grab the hem of Mummy's skirt and gather it up around your nose and blow REAL HARD.


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