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Report: Google to Dump Windows Internally Due to Security Concerns - hackers came thru the windows
Daily Tech ^ | June 1, 2010 9:22 AM | Jason Mick (Blog)

Posted on 06/01/2010 9:02:23 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

New hires are being given the choice of using Macs or Linux

Google is one of the most creative and powerful tech companies in the world, thus its actions are scrutinized at times.  However, it's hard not to see a bit of significance in this one -- Google is reportedly phasing out Windows due to security concerns.

News of the plan broke as Google remains reeling from a major intrusion by Chinese hackers which occurred using an unprotected flaw in Internet Explorer 6.  Back in early February, Google announced that it would be dropping dedicated support for Internet Explorer 6, leaving a fifth of customers on the market behind.

Now, according to an extensive story in the Financial Times, it's carrying out a slow purge of Windows from its corporate IT infrastructure.  Describes an employee, "We’re not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort.  Many people have been moved away from [Windows] PCs, mostly towards Mac OS, following the China hacking attacks."

Google employs over 10,000 people worldwide.  The company is reportedly now giving new hires an option of choosing between a Mac or a Linux box.  Most new employees at Google seem satisfied with this selection. 

Comments one employee, "Linux is open source and we feel good about it.  Microsoft we don’t feel so good about."

And why use Apple, a traditionally closed system?  This may stem from the fact that Google and Apple long enjoyed an overly close relationship until the smartphone war transformed the pair to become rivals.  Describes one employee, "Particularly since the China scare, a lot of people here are using Macs for security."

Also, some Google employees apparently love their Macs.  Another employee chimed in, "It would have made more people upset if they banned Macs rather than Windows."

Macs and Linux systems tend to be attacked far less than Windows systems.  That's because the majority of malicious coders tend to target the biggest party -- Windows -- which holds approximately 90 percent of the market.  

Linux and Macs, while no more secure than Windows, in most cases don't have enough market share to justify coding malware for them -- thus most attacks on these platforms are essentially academic exercises. 

Mac and Linux boxes are vulnerable to cross platform attacks in some cases, but the inability to install malware makes life more difficult for cybercriminals.

Apparently getting a Windows PC these days is almost as hard as getting in to Area 51 -- "Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval" claimed employees."

Google had previously made efforts to move employees voluntarily away from Windows towards Linux, the OS favored by Google.  States an employee, "Before the security, there was a directive by the company to try to run things on Google products.  [The Windows ban] was a long time coming."

Google is increasingly looking to develop its own operating systems.  It currently is dominating the smart phone market with its rapidly growing Android OS, which is based on Linux.  And later this year it hopes to unleash a netbook/tablet operating system called Chrome OS onto the world.  Chrome OS is a rather unique Linux distribution whose functionality is entirely browser based.  All the apps on the tablet are web-based and functions like printing are accomplished via web drivers.

Microsoft has yet to comment on the rejection.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet; Conspiracy
KEYWORDS: china; google; hackers; internet; maccult; macvirus; malware; windows

1 posted on 06/01/2010 9:02:24 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

To: ShadowAce


2 posted on 06/01/2010 9:02:55 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

But canthey use Boot Camp with their Macs?

3 posted on 06/01/2010 9:03:32 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics)

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I hope they go with Linux if they’re serious about it.

4 posted on 06/01/2010 9:03:47 AM PDT by Ancient Drive (DRINK COFFEE! - Do Stupid Things Faster with More Energy!)

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
And I'm sure this announcement has nothing to do with Google's imminent release of the Google Chrome OS.
5 posted on 06/01/2010 9:08:37 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Still using IE6 and gonna blame it on Microsoft? I’d be looking at my application management process and IT Security department to find the REAL culprit in this complete breakdown of their internal security policies.

6 posted on 06/01/2010 9:12:19 AM PDT by rightwingextremist1776

To: Dr. Sivana

Probably if they work while they are offline. That is how I use XP on my mac I just make sure the internet is turned off. I really don’t believe anything can travel through it to XP but just to make double sure....

7 posted on 06/01/2010 9:18:51 AM PDT by chris_bdba

To: All
8 posted on 06/01/2010 9:20:48 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)

To: rightwingextremist1776

Like the Chinese were using off the shelf malware for their attacks on Google and therefore would have been completely thwarted by the MAC OS! Yea, Right.

This is a marketing ploy pure and simple.

If Google wants cyber security it had better look to more high tech solutions than switching to Linux or Mac. That’s just laughable.

9 posted on 06/01/2010 9:22:56 AM PDT by precisionshootist

To: Ancient Drive; Yo-Yo; rightwingextremist1776; Dr. Sivana; chris_bdba

See #8.

10 posted on 06/01/2010 9:23:41 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

This is NOT as good sign for Google-

They apparently are hiring a lot of ‘open source’ linux geeks ( hint: socialists )

So you do the math where this will lead them

I have worked with a lof of these ‘open source’ linux lunatics who think software should be given away free for the masses. Most of them are flamers (libtards) and hypocrites- STEALING time from their employer so they can build ‘free’ software to give away.

And try to get them to explain how they will feed their families when no one pays for software- They religiously recite “tech support”

(who has paid for tech support lately and how much?)

11 posted on 06/01/2010 9:28:47 AM PDT by Mr. K (This administration IS WEARING OUT MY CAPSLOCK KEY!!!!!)

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Linux and Macs, while no more secure than Windows, in most cases don't have enough market share to justify coding malware for them

I am not at all convinced that Linux is no more secure than Windows. For 2 reasons, Direct X and the integrated browser (IE) with the OS. In my opinion both are security killers. There are many Linux distributions, some not so secure and others incredibly secure. I have used several flavors of Linux and have used it for over 10 years. I am not a Google fan, but think this is a smart move for them.

12 posted on 06/01/2010 9:31:40 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.)

To: Mr. K
They apparently are hiring a lot of ‘open source’ linux geeks ( hint: socialists )

I am an old RF techie, have been a Ham 35 years. There is not a "left leaning" bone in my body, but I think Linux is an incredibly good OS. And have used it for over 10 years. Not all Linux users are libs, socialists or even geeks. Redhat is certainly not free, but a very stable efficient platform.

13 posted on 06/01/2010 9:37:07 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.)

To: Texas Fossil

I am with you....

I LOVE my Linux MINT rel 9.

14 posted on 06/01/2010 9:41:36 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)

To: Texas Fossil

OOPS I forgot to include the kneejerk rejection warning: LINUX IS VASTLY SUPERIOR TO WINDOWS I FULLY AND FREELY ACKNOWLEGE THAT, OK? I HATE Microsoft’s horseSh!t games too...

Windows just did a better marketing job and took over the computer world.

I program software for a living - I KNOW linux is superior, OK- but ask gramma if she wants the latest Ubuntu binaries to get email photos of her grandchildren? -the user interface has ONLY had a 20 year head start on Microsoft...

So, technically it is superior- but in marketing and user-friendliiness it SUX HARD

15 posted on 06/01/2010 9:43:52 AM PDT by Mr. K (This administration IS WEARING OUT MY CAPSLOCK KEY!!!!!)

To: Texas Fossil
Vulnerabilities are found in Linux just as they are in Windows. You need to keep your OS and applications patched to the latest versions.

Windows greatest security flaw is it’s users. The average Windows user is a bit more likely than the average Linux user to do something stupid like click that box allowing a plugin to be installed from some web site they are on.

They are more likely to reduce security in the interest of conveience.

Google apparently got hit by a vulnerability in a very old version of Internet Explorer. That sounds like poor system administration to me.

Google has a lot of data that hackers are going to want. Switching to Linux and MacOS will most likely just encourage Chineese hackers to put forth more effort on hacking Linux and MacOS.

16 posted on 06/01/2010 9:48:44 AM PDT by untrained skeptic

To: Mr. K

Do you know what OS this site runs on?

17 posted on 06/01/2010 9:49:50 AM PDT by Gee Wally

To: precisionshootist
Don't you just LOVE the idiots who think all IT Security begins and ends at Microsoft's doorstep? They are too STUPID to see the farce in their own argument.
18 posted on 06/01/2010 9:56:16 AM PDT by rightwingextremist1776

To: Gee Wally

Linux I am sure a wild guess would be Centos or some other Red Hat clone.

19 posted on 06/01/2010 9:57:55 AM PDT by Lees Swrd ("Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order in the world as well")

To: Mr. K

In my humble opinion Linux (open source) coding is more efficient. There is no need for the complexities that go with controling licensing. This is a big advantage on efficiency. I hate software bloat.

There is also the issue of motive. Many of the Malware problems that plague PC users are due to bundling apps and promoting click-through revenue streams that are resource hogs and scams. I have “fixed” them for years.

For me, a PC is another tool. I built my first one in 1982.

20 posted on 06/01/2010 10:06:48 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.)

To: Mr. K
So, technically it is superior- but in marketing and user-friendliiness it SUX HARD

Since the purpose of an Operating System is to facilitate the use of a computer by a user I think the user interface is an essential technical aspect.

For some tasks that are easy to set up in Linux, it's functionality makes dealing with its shortcomings worthwhile.

Of course the same can be said for Windows. It's functionality makes it's shortcoming worth dealing with. However, Windows has a far broader scope of functionality in which it is usable for far more people.

Security is also an essential aspect of a modern OS. In that Windows has come a long way. It's biggest problem is that users commonly don't want to deal with being asked if they are sure they want the app that ran when they clicked object in the email they got from aunt Gerturde to run as Administrator and modify system files. They don't really understand what it means, so they are just going to click OK anyway to make the box go away.

21 posted on 06/01/2010 10:11:46 AM PDT by untrained skeptic

To: rightwingextremist1776

My guess is that Google is thinking the public is the idiot and won’t know they are just laying the ground work to sell their own OS.

That being said I do think Microsoft is in trouble. They simply stopped innovating with the Netscape debacle. Instead of taking Netscape head on with the idea that we will stomp them by making a better browser they got tied up in legal battles and trying to end the life of their competition by any means other than simply making a better product. Microsoft has not had a sense of direction ever since.

22 posted on 06/01/2010 10:24:58 AM PDT by precisionshootist

To: Yo-Yo

It seems like a no-brainer considering that now Microsoft is pretty much a direct competitor.

23 posted on 06/01/2010 10:27:12 AM PDT by dfwgator

To: Lees Swrd

I would also add that it no longer takes a Geek to run Linux it is now as easy if not easier than Windows. do you run Firefox, OpenOffice opps guess were they came from yep Linux or the open source community, the hardest thing I find in getting used to Linux is the program names Kaffeine, Vlc, These are media player,s! I would also add Smplayer one of if not the best media player around.
Games ah yes the most important thing, try Ultimate Edition Gamer’s download it for free burn it to a DvD and run it live you don’t even have to install to try it.
I am not against Window’s at all I just have a balky computer that did not like Vista instead of paying around $300 for an operating system I installed and started running Linux daily now I love it.

24 posted on 06/01/2010 10:38:57 AM PDT by Lees Swrd ("Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order in the world as well")

To: precisionshootist
I agree with both of your points....Microsoft gets a lot of bad press...some deserved and some not. What I believe is the single most completely misunderstood concept is that if you replace Microsoft products with any of the unix/linux based operating systems and you are safe.....BULL CRAP! All you have done is exchange on set of risks with another. ANYBODY worth their weight in IT Security would know this...
25 posted on 06/01/2010 10:44:47 AM PDT by rightwingextremist1776

To: rightwingextremist1776
Well....we could have a big debate on the differences architecturally between Unix based systems and the way Windows with it's heavily Legacy architecture system is put together...

I don't known what compares to Active X ...for Linux.

26 posted on 06/01/2010 12:12:43 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Yes, yes, there are differences in each...the big picture is that real security is not just OS. All systems are vulnerable to some sort of of attack. The truth is most networks are most vulnerable from the inside. A determined advisory like state sponsored hacking (ie China)will know how to get around any OS...way too many layers to secure them all.
27 posted on 06/01/2010 1:40:40 PM PDT by rightwingextremist1776

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