December 3, 2005

Latest Linux security threat: Alien hackers

Author: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller

We didn't hear about this danger from flying saucer nutcases but from
the ultra-respectable British publication The
, which says, "According to a scientific report, planet Earth's
computers are wide open to a virus attack from Little Green Men." So
far, there is no evidence whatsoever that Linux is immune to alien
computer viruses. Could this threat bring the spread of Linux to a halt?We know Windows is unlikely to fall prey to alien computer intruders
because a Forrester study showed that "Microsoft was the
only vendor to have corrected 100% of the publicly known flaws during
the study's time period" and "Windows has the fewest vulnerabilities
and the fewest 'high severity' vulnerabilities of any platform

We know this information is reliable because it didn't come from some
bunch of flaky Linux zealots
but from Microsoft's own "Get
the FUD
" site.

What's more, an equally
reliable source
tells us that, over a year after the above
report was released, Windows users have found "a
100 percent improvement in Microsoft's security in the past
12 months."

Obviously, all those Windows
you read about are nothing but the ravings of
demented free software communists.

Or are they? Could this all be a disinformation campaign by aliens
who plan to invade us

We know that not everyone believes aliens are harmful; the folks at The Lightside
certainly seem to think they're a force for good.

But can The Lightside be trusted? We did a "What's that site running?"
query at Netcraft, and got an OS
response. This immediately makes us suspect that this
site uses an alien OS and is part of an alien disinformation campaign.
Or could it -- even more insidiously -- be part of a dis-disinformation

How advanced
intelligences have corrupted Linux

Obviously, beings that travel interstellar distances are way beyond us
technologically. It is no great stretch to realize that they helped
spawn the free software movement, which accepts code contributions from
all life forms. It is also no great stretch to realize that these
beings are so far ahead of us that their code contains hidden
instructions that will shut down all our defenses when their invasion
force is ready to strike.

Yes, I know: Linus Torvalds and the Apache inner circle and other heads
of big-time free software projects check all code before it is
accepted. You're forgetting that we are talking about incredibly
advanced aliens whose mental powers dwarf those of even genius-level
earthlings like Linus. What looks to him like an
innocuous device driver may in reality contain a code snippet
which, when run in conjunction with another hidden code snippet in and one in XMMS, then activated by a coded message on an Apache-based Web site, may infiltrate the Pentagon's most
secure computer networks and fire our entire nuclear arsenal at bogus

Why proprietary software
keeps you safe

Have you ever thought about submitting a great bit of code to Microsoft
so they can include it in the next version of Windows? I
haven't either, and even if I could program beyond the moron
level I wouldn't. Windows and other Microsoft programs -- and virtually
all propriety software -- is written by staff employees and a
carefully-selected group of subcontractors, not by random strangers who
toss stuff into online submissions bins.

Imagine a drooling alien covered with slimy green scales showing up at
the personnel office in Redmond. That creature would be out the door
(and in the hands of exobiologists) before you could say "Developers!
Developers! Developers!"

If that same alien escaped from the scientists and returned home, you'd
better believe that in his anger he'd load some sort of horrible computer virus onto his race's interplanetary radio
communications so that the SETI
would pick it up and infect our world's computers.

As mentioned above, Windows is far too secure to be compromised by an
alien. Not only that -- and this is the important part -- there is no
way for that alien to hide code within Windows itself, while it could
easily become a Linux kernel contributor and slip its nefarious Easter
into Linux.

Can you say with certainty that every contributor to every free or open
source software project is an Earth human? I don't think so!

Until you can, the surest way to defend your computer against
alien invaders is -- obviously -- to stick with good old-fashioned
proprietary software, which is what I will do as soon as I get
smart enough to run Windows
instead of simple, reliable Linux.


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