China bans use of Microsoft's Windows 8 on government computers

Arthur

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
25,157
Because it's too hard for them to slip in monitoring stealthware that normally gets put onto government machines? Windows 8 is just too secure and locked down for the Chinese government?
 

murraybiscuit

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Messages
6,483
Because it's too hard for them to slip in monitoring stealthware that normally gets put onto government machines? Windows 8 is just too secure and locked down for the Chinese government?
no, it's because they haven't paid for their ms licenses. microsoft has now ended free xp support and chinese gov doesn't want to pay for extended support. the free ride has gone on too long - i don't blame ms.
 

R13...

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
33,399
Our company is also giving Win 8 a skip. Got new laptop last week and it's been reloaded with Win 7.
 

ghoti

Karmic Sangoma
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
46,879
Microsoft would be a huge security risk to the Chinese. Looks like they are learning quickly. Anyone who thinks windows 8 is secure knows absolutely ****all about internet security.
 

crysis

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
3,138
Microsoft would be a huge security risk to the Chinese. Looks like they are learning quickly. Anyone who thinks windows 8 is secure knows absolutely ****all about internet security.
You telling me its less secure than xp or 7? Evidence please?
 

genetic

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
32,563
Now you don't tell us the reason why they did that?
The US is accusing China of spying and stealing trade secrets from US firms. It's no wonder China is basically giving software giants a big F U.
 

Praeses

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Messages
4,837
No, I didnt say that. Do you usually jump to conclusions like that?

It is however less secure than other popular operating systems (linux, etc).:) It is really not hard at all to turn a windows machine. Metaploit has been pwning Microsoft for ages now. Again, anyone with half a wit in internet security would know this.
Pointing to a website does not explain why Windows operating systems are less secure than linux ones.
Windows PCs make up a much larger portion of the computers in the world - much more effort goes into looking for Windows exploits than Linux exploits. It does not mean that Linux is more secure. Also keep in mind that the software you install on either OSes will play a big role in the security of the system as a whole.
 

ghoti

Karmic Sangoma
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
46,879
Pointing to a website does not explain why Windows operating systems are less secure than linux ones.
I thought it was self explanatory. There are many exploits. Exploits can often take a long time to get patched (often 6 months to a year... though sometimes quicker if MS think its very severe). Because there are so many unpatched exploits there are many many vectors to take control of a target. Its really not hard to take control of someones computer with a little spearphishing. Ive created a couple of videos on youtube showing how you can take control of a windows pc just by getting them to visit a website. In many cases (depending on the exploit) there can be no interaction from the user other than getting their browser to visit the site.

With linux because the code is open, you have many more eyes going through it so bugs are often caught before they are found in the wild. An example of this would be the heartbleed bug. It was found by researchers going through the code before it was utilized in the wild. There was a patch out before people started using the exploit in the wild. With linux code there is a larger group of developers with more eyes going through the code, so flaws and exploits are more quickly identified and fixed. Closed source tends to take a more "security through obscurity" approach.

One of the key ways linux is more secure is privileges. Windows wants to run everything and the kitchen sink as administrator. Linux doesnt do that, so in the rare chance that it is exploited it is normally at the user level. This is another reason why viruses for linux fail.

Windows PCs make up a much larger portion of the computers in the world - much more effort goes into looking for Windows exploits than Linux exploits
.
Except most of your most powerful servers in the world are linux. A hacker would much rather control a powerful server than a ****ty desktop. Unless there is financial gain in turning that desktop. The only part I agree with you about is the Monoculture of windows makes it much easier to socially engineer people or exploit. You know with windows most people will be running Outlook, you know most of them will be running Word, you know most of them will be running Oracles Java. This makes pwning a windows desktop a lot easier.


It does not mean that Linux is more secure.
But linux is more secure and not for the really strange reason you say. Just the way it deals with permissions, patches etc. If a vulnerability is found on a linux system there is normally a patch rolling out in a couple of hours time. Go watch the Pwn2own competitions. Windows is almost always the first to drop its skirts. It really is that easy to turn a windows desktop. It is incredibly hard to to turn a linux desktop.

Also keep in mind that the software you install on either OSes will play a big role in the security of the system as a whole.
Without a doubt. As normally the software on windows suffers from the same lack of patching and security that the OS does. Almost everything in Windows has to run as an administrator. That makes hacking so much more easier.

It is virtually impossible to lock down a windows machine. It is through Windows desktops that China was able to hack Google and get important information. Because of this Google no longer allow Windows desktops on their network without special permission.

If you wanna know the reality of how easy it is to hack windows, please check out exploit kits like: Metaploit, Armitage and SETK (Social Engineering Tool Kit).

This video breaks down how easy it is to use these tools

[video=youtube;Z0x_O75tRAU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0x_O75tRAU[/video]

Its not just exploits that make windows dodgy. The other day we were testing ipv6 ddos methods on our network and I was able to crash every single windows machine on our network (you can flood the whole network at the same time and get all the MS machines to chow 100% cpu until they die). This took almost no effort. The only machines/devices on our network that did not crash were the ubuntu desktops (though it is linux mac would have been safe as well).
 
Last edited:

Arthur

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
25,157
Ghoti, you forgot to mention that all the Linux eyes checking the system completely missed the null pointer dereference hole that allowed a Linux system to be exploited even when security enhancements are running at supermax - and it only worked in SELinux (ie Security Enhanced Linux).

Every system has holes.

Linux survives the scrutiny of the unscrupulous because it's so marginal. Security by obscurity.

As the PRC-Win8 story unfolds it seems the real reason is the majority of PRC gov PCs run pirated XP. Win8 has a better anti-piracy mechanism, so this costs them money, which of course they don't like paying to American software companies. It's crime and politics. Trying to turn it into a tech issue is mistaken.
 
Last edited:

2012

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
9,046
Their company is getting some really bad tech advice.
On the contrary,it's an expensive exercise to upgrade systems - even more so when the new OS confuses everyone and people dislike it.
 

Allin

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
1,311
Can you elaborate on the reasons why you downgraded to Win 7?
I bought a new notebook yesterday and also had Win 7 loaded. On my previous notebook just about every f'n "upgrade" failed. If I add up the hours I wasted waiting for the "updates" to be reverted it probably cost more than the notebook itself.
 

Allin

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
1,311
On the contrary,it's an expensive exercise to upgrade systems - even more so when the new OS confuses everyone and people dislike it.
I did the same, and I know of quite a few other people who also upgraded from W8 to W7
 
Top