In response to the February cover story, Busting Bots, by Dan Kaplan:
Great article, this information needs to be published more.
We saw the article today and were very impressed with your reporting and the quality of the article in general. You did a great service to the industry in explaining the viability of botnets and why they need to be taken seriously.
Linda Marcus, MAAWG
In response to a Jan. 16 story, No end in sight for massive Windows worm outbreak:
If Linux is as popular as Windows, you will have the same problem. If it's not about a particular system being safer than the others, it is about certain people who like to break a popular OS to make them happy or serve their malicious purposes.
NoOSIsSafe is right. Any OS can be hacked. Many hackers are Linux/Unix fans and either don't like Windows or any big name OS just for bragging rights. The safest computer is one unplugged from the network. Even if your computer is turned off, hackers can get into it, do their thing, turn it off and you'll never know.
I haven't encountered this worm yet, and don't have any methods of detecting or eliminating the worm. Just follow the usual precautions of where you surf, and who you share your file systems with.
If you're connecting to the network, run as a non-administrative user. This is generally a good idea because even if you get infected, the unprivileged user won't be able to damage system files (unless it's a smart virus that also breaks in as root or administrator).
NoOSIsSafe is not entirely correct. While market share of a particular OS may make it a bigger target, it does not mean that they can be as easily infected. Linux and OS X are written differently than Windows, so they may or may not be easier to target.
Better than all those other tips: Ditch the “Windoze” box and buy a Mac!
The opinions expressed in these letters are not necessarily those of SC Magazine.