Using virus and malware-laden software used to just be a bad for one's productivity. As it turns out, it can also be a bad idea for one's career.
Michael Fiola, formerly an investigator with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, was charged with possession of child pornography. He lost his community's respect, many of his friends, and his family. His crime? He was given a Windows-based laptop that was riddled with vulnerabilities that were or became prey to malware.
An investigation showed he hadn't downloaded the pornography. His computer did:
When the DIA issued Fiola his Dell Latitude laptop in November 2006, it was so badly configured that it may well have already been hacked, said Tami Loehrs, a forensics investigator hired by Fiola's defense team. The Microsoft Systems Management Server software on the laptop was misconfigured and was not receiving critical software updates, and the laptop's Symantec antivirus software was either misconfigured or not working properly, she said.
"He was handed a ticking time bomb," she said.
In this case, it's called Windows. Or, more accurately, an IT department that inflicted a poorly implemented Windows environment on Mr. Fiola. Could this have happened with Linux or the Mac? Yes and maybe. Yes, because weak IT yields weak security. But maybe, because both of these Unix-based systems handle security much better than Windows traditionally has. But that's not really the point.… Read more