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 Tuesday, 10 October 2006

A recent BBC article shows how vulnerable XP Home really is. "Using a computer acting as a so-called 'honeypot' the BBC has been regularly logging how many potential net-borne attacks hit the average Windows PC every day. With a highly protected XP Pro machine running VMWare, the BBC hosted an unprotected XP Home system to simulate what an 'average' home PC faces when connected to the internet."

The majority of the incidents were merely nuisances. "Many were announcements for fake security products that use vulnerabilities in Windows Messenger to make their messages pop-up. Others were made to look like security warnings to trick people into downloading the bogus file." "However, at least once an hour, on average, the BBC honeypot was hit by an attack that could leave an unprotected machine unusable or turn it into a platform for attacking other PCs. Many of these attacks were by worms such as SQL.Slammer and MS.Blaster both of which first appeared in 2003. The bugs swamp net connections as they search for fresh victims and make host machines unstable. They have not been wiped out because they scan the net so thoroughly that they can always find another vulnerable machine to leap to and use as a host while they search for new places to visit."

Read the full BBC story.

This article was accessed through Slashdot.