Many wonder why Microsoft products have so many vulnerabilities while other operating systems experience relatively low incidents of similar issues. Issues ranging from malware and viruses to problems caused by Microsoft issued patches. The answer is three-fold.
Black Hats, (that’s the bad guys who write these nasty programs that we all try to avoid getting), want the largest exposure that they can get. It’s only natural to pick on the guy with, by far, the largest market share of software running in the world: Microsoft. Many of these malware programs target systems with the intent of some sort of financial gain. The “browser hi-jacker”, for instance, redirects all internet search queries to sites that pay the site owner every time someone clicks on a link. The more people that they infect, the more money they can make. There is also the DDoS attack. Often, this type of attack is used to extort money or to otherwise damage the victim of the attack financially. In a nutshell, this is how it works: malware or viruses containing “IRC Bots”, (or something similar), infect thousands, or even tens of thousands of machines. IRC Bots, once installed, allow a “master” to control all infected machines remotely. Once a target is picked for a DDoS attack, the master instructs all of the machines to flood the victims servers, or a specific server, depending on target details, with requests that essentially shut the server down by overwhelming it with traffic. If the victim is an online banking site, none of the real customers would be able to get through. If it is a server used by a sales or marketing department, sales and marketing staff would find the site inaccessible during the attack. This can work on mail servers, business critical database servers, you name it. As you can see, this can cause a major disruption for a business. This attack is most effective when many many machines are part of the incoming flood. For maximum effect, the natural choice of machines to infect would again be Microsoft products. The FBI recently announced that millions computers in the USA may be part of these botnets.