Malware is Everywhere Warns Linux Inventor
Ashley Allen / 5 years ago
The man who developed the GNU operating system, better known as Linux, has warned computer users that malware is not just viruses, and that it pervades every form or modern software, from freeware to game, and even operating systems. Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, bemoans the fact that malware has become the norm, distributed under sneaky EULA policies and tacit agreements.
“What kinds of programs constitute malware?” Stallman asks, then answers. “Operating systems, first of all. Windows snoops on users, shackles users and, on mobiles, censors apps; it also has a universal back door that allows Microsoft to remotely impose software changes. Microsoft sabotages Windows users by showing security holes to the NSA before fixing them.”
“Apple systems are malware too,” he continues. “MacOS snoops and shackles; iOS snoops, shackles, censors apps and has a back door. Even Android contains malware in a nonfree component: a back door for remote forcible installation or deinstallation of any app.”
“What sorts of wrongs are found in malware? Some programs are designed to snoop on the user. Some are designed to shackle users, such as Digital Rights Management (DRM). Some have back doors for doing remote mischief. Some even impose censorship. Some developers explicitly sabotage their users.”
Malware isn’t just confined to operating systems either, Stallman cautions, with free software just as likely to contain backdoor exploits. “Even humble flashlight apps for phones were found to be reporting data to companies. A recent study found that QR code scanner apps also snoop,” he laments.
Stallman’s advice is to not trust modern software. Use it, but do so with open eyes. The Free Software Foundation reports on cases of proprietary malware, so it’s worth checking regularly.
Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.