Gone in 240 seconds
By John Leyden
Published Tuesday 15th July 2008
An unpatched PC is likely to last just four minutes on the internet before being attacked and compromised.
The time it takes for a PC to get itself owned varies by operating system and what activities a user engages in - but even allowing for this, putting an unpatched Windows PC directly onto the net in the hope that it downloads patches faster than it gets exploited give you "odds that you wouldn't bet on in Vegas", warns Lorna Hutcheson, a researcher at the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre (ISC).
The ISC maintains a survival time graph that gives an indication of how long a system might last on the internet before stumbling into the crosshairs of hackers, who routinely use automated tools to scan and commandeer vulnerable systems. Survival time, the ISC notes, has dropped markedly over the last two years, and is currently a fairly scary four minutes.
This one tip will help you sleep better tonight
A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.