You’re right, there is no start to his knowledge

It is, of course, appropriate to condemn those who have written the virus that has deliberately crippled the NHS and put lives at risk and I do so, unreservedly.

That said I think it wholly appropriate to ask three further questions. The first is why the NHS was at risk because so many of its units were running machines using Windows XP that has not been supported by Microsoft for years?

Second, it is fair to ask is why Microsoft can leave the world at risk by not supporting its software?

Third, it’s appropriate to ask what economic system can result in such a combination of circumstances arising?

At which point Snippa insists that the ne National Investment Bank should create an operating system to:

but in the real world where most people use IT the demands are pretty basic. Email, a word processor, maybe a spread sheet, access to the web where the demands are not that high, and the ability to run pre-programmed database operations linked to a file server. That is pretty much it.

And we’ll run the NHS on that.

All of this stemming from the initial analysis that it was Windows XP which was the problem.

Hmm:

Chief among the revelations: more than 97 percent of infections hit computers running Windows 7, according to attacks seen by antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab. By contrast, infected Windows XP machines were practically non-existent, and those XP PCs that were compromised were likely manually infected by their owners for testing purposes.

So not XP then:

The figures challenge the widely repeated perception that the outbreak was largely the result of end users who continued to deploy Windows XP, a Windows version Microsoft decommissioned three years ago. In fact, researchers now say, XP was largely untouched by last week’s worm because PCs crashed before WCry could take hold. Instead, it now appears, the leading contributor to the virally spreading infection were Windows 7 machines that hadn’t installed a critical security patch Microsoft issued in March

Microsoft did issue a patch, it did work, the software was all still under security update support, it’s just that the NHS systems are so crap that they didn’t install the patch.

And these are the people who should write a new operating system?

But no, we’re not going to see a walk back, are we? The view from he stump is that the Curajus State must write operating systems and that’s that.

40 comments on “You’re right, there is no start to his knowledge

  1. Tuberous Infallibility Theory at work here.

    This involves constructing a house of cards on the basis of inchoate or incorrect facts pulled out of the air and exposed to his subjective analysis.

    It’s holy writ to his claque.

  2. You get these people who get very nervous about Windows patches (they can occassionally cause problems), but at most you should be pushing to small numbers of PCs and if they work, you push to everyone else (Microsoft have tools to do this).

  3. “.. deliberately crippled the NHS..”.
    Bollocks. It was a bot that wandered the net looking for vulnerable machines. Didn’t care what they were used for.

  4. Well now I’m curious where the xp story came from, and why it wasn’t killed earlier. Too many people preferring the ‘under investment’ narrative?

    (I do note the rider that the stats are taken from machines running Kaspersky anti-virus, which may exclude the NHS. So both things could be true.)

    I’m assuming the NHS has a team responsible for testing windows updates to make sure they don’t break critical software. Who were probably too overworked to get this one out sooner. But you don’t build an empire by only asking for a couple more sysadmins.

  5. No no, the problem was that the NHS wasn’t given enough money! Just like how the state’s failing schools are the fault of lack of money, the state’s failing XYZ is caused by lack of money. Tax everyone more, shovel more cash into the existing structures, and everything will be just fine.

    That’s the argument I hear every day from the left.

  6. Interesting. I have seen a significant number of windows 7 PCs where the updates fail and break, despite being set to update automatically.

    This usually happens at small businesses or NGO outstations where they don’t utilise a decent infrastructure and have proper support. It can be quite a pain to resurrect auto updates sometimes. Microsoft clearly could do a better job here, but so could the organizations that won’t pay the real cost of their IT needs.

  7. It just shows what a Little Englander Snippa is. He fixates on the NHS problems without reflecting on the fact that, say, FedEx also got hit and that machines around the world were infected. XP was running on 4% or so of NHS Pcs, which seems consistent with the Kaspersky report. And his statement about the needs of users is risible in the extreme. No one puts together slide presentations? No one edits photos or videos online? No one uses accounting packages or order management systems or project management systems? CAD is not used? Terminal emulators are unnecessary? In fact it makes you wonder when he last did an audit or prepared accounts. Does he prepare his own accounts? Without using spreadsheets at all? The man is a joke.

  8. Coming soon, Rocco’s Dirty Secrets where we see the forensic side of Snippa at work as he probes Hodge ‘s haven, unshaven at his request, for all her dirty secrets.

  9. I have a Windows XP box that I used for programming. When the ‘hit’ was reported I did a full from-boot virus scan and found nothing. Installed the emergency Microsoft patch, updated the virus definitions, did another from-boot virus scan and found nothing. Eight days later and I’m here typing this comment and still nothing.

    My neighbour reports that her one-year-old Windows 8 system skinned to Windows 7 keeps dropping its internet connection (wired to my router) and stutters on video playback. I watched Dr Who on catch-up yesterday without noticing any problems on this 8-year-old XP machine.

  10. Don’t these updates install automatically when you try to shut down your computer after a long day at work and have to hang around the office for 20 minutes while it installs? Or we’re the infected ones belonging to people like my boss who every evening just says “Fuck this” shuts the laptop screen and goes home?

  11. “My neighbour reports that her one-year-old Windows 8 system skinned to Windows 7 keeps dropping its internet connection (wired to my router) and stutters on video playback. I watched Dr Who on catch-up yesterday without noticing any problems on this 8-year-old XP machine.”

    That’s almost entirely about the external stuff, unless they’ve got an old XP-level machine they’ve upgraded, or just a shit PC with inadequate amounts of memory. I run a Win 8 PC skinned to 7 and it works fine for video.

  12. At the workstations, you need little more than a Web browser, and something like Microsoft Office (or an anternative). The interesting stuff runs on dedicated servers, which can run any operating system, that is best suited to your needs. This includes Linux and BSD Unix, which come with their respective source code.

  13. “I have seen a significant number of windows 7 PCs where the updates fail and break, despite being set to update automatically. ”

    This appears to become more common the longer it is since updates were last installed and has been a major problem when attempting to upgrade Win 7 SP1, either from a clean install or a factory reset.

    Some German hackers have built a workaround, Windows Offline Update, which downloads and installs the updates independently of Windows Update.

  14. Sorry, I meant to type “update Win 7 SP1”, not “upgrade”. Still under-caffeinated, clearly.

  15. I had an old laptop running Windows 7 and when MS finally stopped nagging me to update to 10, it gave up updating at all. Left to itself the update process ran constantly while taking 25% of CPU time and turning my little HP into a space heater. After looking around the web and trying all the purported cures without success, I eventually had to use task manger to shut down the process but of course this left my machine vulnerable.

    Fortunately(?) the machine turned up it’s toes before the great ransomware attack, (it stopped reading the qwert part of the keyboard which included one of the letters in my password), so I bought a new machine and now enjoy all the delights of Windows 10.

    It took two hours to update the OS yesterday.

  16. ‘The first is why the NHS was at risk because so many of its units were running machines using Windows XP that has not been supported by Microsoft for years?’

    Microsoft never stopped security updates. That they don’t support the software any more is a non sequitur. [Others have said NHS wasn’t even running XP. Murphy is stupid wrong.]

    ‘Second, it is fair to ask is why Microsoft can leave the world at risk by not supporting its software?’

    No one supports RSX-11M anymore. Get over it.

    But supporting its software and creating security updates are two different subjects. For the topic at hand, a virus attack, Microsoft, with its security updates, DOES support the software.

    ‘Third, it’s appropriate to ask what economic system can result in such a combination of circumstances arising?’

    The combination didn’t arise, dumbass.

    Free enterprise. The alternative is to not have computers and software. Back to the abacus, dumbass.

    His statism is palpable. People making computer software for profit don’t do it the way he thinks they should. Therefore, government must create a replacement product. Coz people working for government won’t make mistakes. Working for government makes you a fvcking genius. And not an ignoramus like him.

  17. Modern computer operating systems and their associated user-space tools are the most complex machines devised by the mind of man. The amount of effort it takes to build one makes the Great Pyramid of Cheops look like something a couple of people knocked up over a long weekend.

    Fuck Murphy. He’s a menace. Some people actually buy into his shit because they’re as stupid and gloweringly malevolent as he is.

  18. > No one supports RSX-11M anymore. Get over it.

    Quite. There are old cars and motorbikes for which parts are hard to come by, and have to be cannibalised from other vehicles. In the 1990s, the NHS had ambulances made from the Vauxhall Frontera. I presume they don’t still use them today.

  19. ״Quite. There are old cars and motorbikes for which parts are hard to come by, and have to be cannibalised from other vehicles.”

    Now there’s a problem that can be solved with 3D printing.

    “in the real world where most people use IT the demands are pretty basic. Email, a word processor, maybe a spread sheet, access to the web where the demands are not that high, and the ability to run pre-programmed database operations linked to a file server.”

    No, that’s 95% of what 95% of people use IT for at work. But those missing 9.75% are doing important work. At any large enough organization someone is planning future work with some project management software; someone is preparing a presentation with Power Point; someone is enhancing an image with Photoshop; someone is programming a new IT application with Atom or Sublime Text; Someone is modeling something with CAD software; Somebody is using some ERP software to manage buying.

    Call it the long tail of applications. Think of an application, any application. Somebody’s using it in the NHS. Turbo-tax? That software for filing tax returns in the US? One of the 1.2 million people has a good reason to use this on a work computer. Why? I don’t know, but if you wanted to list all the applications used in the NHS, you’d run into thousands of different applications.

    So what kind of computer do you need that can run them *all*? Not run most of them. Run *all* of them? You end up with Windows. You might get by with Macs, but they’re more expensive. If you try to get by with Linux, you’ll end up with 80% using the Linux, and still get Windows for the rest. And supporting hundreds of thousands of desktop Linux stations used by non-geeks is much harder and more expensive than a similar number of Windows stations.

    Even if you don’t believe that the government is bad at everything, you should realize that private companies standardize on Windows for a reason. They don’t just like throwing money away at shiny beige boxes and Microsoft licenses.

  20. So government writes a virus and the appropriate solution is to have government take over the entire operating system???

    To be far the G-men that wrote this particular nasty would really like that result.

  21. Why is the NHS using Windows and not Unix?

    Given the number of BSODs, why would any mission critical organisation use Windows?

    OK, nowadays you don’t get a screen, so it can’t be blue, but you still get the death. W10’s favourite seems to be airplane mode with a Wi-Fi connection.

  22. A new version of OS/2 was released the other day, perhaps the NHS should upgrade to that.

  23. “and the ability to run pre-programmed database operations linked to a file server.”

    Lol. What a fucking arse.

  24. but in the real world where most people use IT the demands are pretty basic. Email, a word processor, maybe a spread sheet, access to the web where the demands are not that high, and the ability to run pre-programmed database operations linked to a file server. That is pretty much it.

    He now believes he understands the IT needs of approx 25m people. What a massively ignorant puffed up cunt he is.

  25. Ritchie: Second, it is fair to ask is why Microsoft can leave the world at risk by not supporting its software?

    MS do still support Win XP, but one has to pay £xxx per PC for the annual support/updates subscription.

    Most updates are available FOC if you tweak XP so MS update sees your PC as a POS terminal.

  26. Tuberous Infallibility Theory at work here.

    Or the Consistently Unimpressive Nonsense Theory.

  27. Ritchie again misses the essential point, which is that private software companies have an incentive to produce products which are as secure as possible, whilst governments in fact want the opposite. This was, after all, a weaponised version of an exploit which was kept secret by the NSA; and you can’t go more than six months without some government or other calling for weaker encryption and magic backdoors that only they can use.

    A state-produced operating system would be so insecure (by design) as to be unfit for purpose.

  28. I get the feeling (no evidence obviously) that this was activation of already infected machines rather than infection of new ones given the speed of spread.

    Blaming Microsoft rather than 5 eyes who developed it is par for the course, that the MSM run with the story using ‘claim to authority’ leads me to suspect standard deflection.

    Remind me again who pays for our Security Services.

  29. BobRocket: worms can spread with dizzying speed. Back when Slammer hit the web, it was estimated it went from background noise to peak in 10 minutes.

    Current information is that WannaCry spread by scanning for SMB fileshares, of which the NHS clearly had some publicly exposed. That’s gross incompetence, and paying the same idiots more money will merely incentivize the hiring of more idiots 🙁

  30. Excluding the 50% of my work that I do that is programming, the other 50% is near-enough identical to what I did when I worked in local government, and only 50% of that was yer bog standard “office tools”. Half of my job would have been impossible to do with TuppennyOS and TuppennyOffice.

  31. Most normal people look at things they don’t understand and assume they’re probably more complex than appearances would suggest. It takes someone with Murphy’s colossal, and colossally unjustified ego to look at something he doesn’t understand and assume it must therefore be simple.

  32. “private software companies have an incentive to produce products which are as secure as possible”

    Uh… I’m not so sure about that.

  33. S o from the outside – the conclusion from the comments is that – basically it was the customers fault.
    You might think there would be an element of national interest.

  34. but in the real world where most people use IT the demands are pretty basic. Email, a word processor, maybe a spread sheet, access to the web where the demands are not that high, and the ability to run pre-programmed database operations linked to a file server. That is pretty much it.”

    Any machine/os that is capable of running email, a word processor, maybe a spreadsheet, providing access to the web and gives the ability to run pre-programmed database operations, is pretty much capable of doing anything*. They’re not called general purpose computers for a laugh.

    …where the demands are not that high…

    Hmm. Coloured text and Chromebooks for the proles, Xeons and HD squirrel porn for the party faithful.

    *Depending on how long you want to wait.

  35. What I don’t understand is this ‘Microsoft is a monopoly’ stuff. Isn’t the Courageous State designed to create a monopoly supplier of everything? Haven’t we been harangued by Spud on the excess of choice the private sector provides? Don’t the Left want a ‘one size fits all’ solution anyway, just as socialism has provided throughout its 100 year stain on history?

  36. Spud’s National Computing Service will be offering salaries in the classic Govt ranges, e.g. £23,711-£31,459 so will naturally attract the top talent available needed to create something as complex as an OS. It will be massively top-heavy with middle-management, most of whom don’t do anything and the whole thing will be paralysed by the union.

    You’d be lucky to see anything from it in five years and £10bn wasted.

  37. private software companies have an incentive to produce products which are as secure as possible

    Perhaps “as secure as customers desire” would be more accurate. In general, ‘security’ is “that which gets in the way of me doing my job”. It’s possible (albeit difficult) to produce secure software – there are certified secure versions of Unix, for example – but almost noone uses them (outside of a handful of 3-letter agencies) because they’re a complete pain in the arse (and the software set is very limited).
    In other words, they don’t do much, and what they do isn’t very useful.

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