Microsoft and Security

Excellent article in The Register about Microsoft and security, increasingly an oxymoron. I agree with the author, Richard Forno, wholeheartedly. He says:

Unfortunately, Windows XP doesn’t protect you from Microsoft, an entity some argue is more dangerous than any cyber terrorist or hacker gang.

It’s one of the reasons I’m using OS X more and more. I’m just plain afraid of Windows XP!

30 Replies to “Microsoft and Security”

  1. I tried the beta of XP before it came out. Initially I thought it was great, but after time I actually uninstalled it and have never bought the retail version. Meannwhile, I bought an Apple iBook (about two or three months ago now) and love it. 100% of the time I’m in OS X and only occasionaly do I use classic, I think it’s a great operating system. How many people bought these iBooks anyway?

  2. I installed SuSE Linux on my computer and love it…although I haven’t made it my primary OS yet I am using it to learn about Linux, eventually it will become my primary OS except for gaming. But for now I love XP :-).

  3. Would you be willing to say that you’re afraid of XP on air?
    And look like a targeted victim in an 80s slasher film, too?

  4. P.S.
    Can someone please explain to me why MS doesn’t offer a monetary reward for companies and individuals who discover these vulnerabilities and report them in a responsible manner? Of course that could turn into ‘hush money’ real fast I suppose. Just sign this non-disclosure agreement right here and the check’s in the mail.

  5. I also recall Leo using the term “Microsoft shill” to describe the MS PR guy who was trying to explain how the terms “Most secure Windows ever” and “Worst security flaw ever” did not contradict each other.

  6. heh M$ admit to the notion that their products aren’t as great and perfect as they market them to be? i have a better chance of winning the lottery than seeing that happen. gotta go now buy my lottery ticket……..

  7. What are you guys talking about? I’ve said repeatedly that Microsoft’s security model sucks. The last time I talked about XP before the break I said that Microsoft practiced sloppy coding practices and that there’s no excuse for continued buffer overflow exploits in Windows. I’ve also said repeatedly that OS X is the best OS I’ve ever used.

  8. heh M$ admit to the notion that their products aren’t as great and perfect as they market them to be? i have a better chance of winning the lottery than seeing that happen. gotta go now buy my lottery ticket……..

  9. grr i can’t type..
    “don’t forget OS is based on a unix kernel ;)”
    …forget OSX is based…….

  10. Microsoft really screwed up XP with all the registration type things… the whole line of XP software actually. Im still using 98se. 🙂

  11. That’s one of the side effects of buying my iBook that I hadn’t expected. I tend to trust it a little more online than I do my PC’s. This may be a mistake on my part and leave me open to a rude awakening someday, but I have Norton on the Mac too…just in case.
    Nothing’s perfect, but I like to play the odds in my favor.
    As for XP, I just haven’t found a good reason to buy it yet. I’m sure I’ll need it for something, someday. I’m willing to wait it out.

  12. I honestly believe that Microsoft has no Security model to speak of. It is rarely ever their programmers/debuggers that find the exploits…as it tends to be mostly private individuals/groups that find them. And for the most part said individuals/groups email Microsoft first about it and provides source code and detailed information to repeat the exploit. A great example was CDC’s Back Orifice program, they found the exploits, notified Microsoft to only be mocked at and then look what happen, Sid Vicious releases the program at Defcon and M$ takes a kick to the groin. Eeye provides great information in exploits and other bugs to software companies, it would be great if Microsoft would follow-up on them as well, for heaven’s sake 2 months to release a patch. BTW, GNU/Linux is the best OS IMO..don’t forget OS is based on a unix kernel 😉

  13. You are not alone LEO. I have installed XP on the sytem I have in the living room. But its not going anywhere near my real PC anytime soon. Theres some nice features I especially like all the thumbnails for media as I have tons and am constantly having to open stuff to find things. And after all the antitrust stuff htey are still inserting more features like cd burning and video editing. Yes they are pretty lousy, but Internet explorer was lousy in the beginning as well. But yes I’m scared too!

  14. MS and security?!? hahaha I just don’t understand why a company would be willing to sell/make available any product that is not 100%. If you don’t please your customer, you know-the ones that buy your stuff, then those customers will look elswhere. duh Can anyone say Linux?

  15. A bad thing about buying a new computer? It has Windows XP pre-installed. Yeah, I could wipe it and all, but all I have to install on it is Windows 98 SE. But, the idea is becoming more and more tempting …
    If I had to pick something worse then XP, it’s ME (the OS, not myself).
    So, yes Leo … be afraid of XP. Be very afraid.

  16. << I’ve also said repeatedly that OS X is the best OS I’ve ever used.
    I agree with you Leo, FreeBSD is the best OS out there 🙂
    Now I’m no Microsoft supporter, in fact I hate the heck out of them, but I’ve run Win XP Home since it came out and I’ve had no problems whatsoever with it. I install all the updates as needed and I keep up to date on all possible exploits in Win XP. But I do agree with Leo in that it’s just bad practice for Microsoft to release these OS’s into the field and then just fix things as they come along. Just bad programming and business practices.

  17. The most scary thing is that Microsoft is planning to put its OS on the internet in a couple of years. If it’s not secure now, how bad will it be then? All of us can go to Apple or Linux; but, for all practical purposes, the great majority of the public can’t.
    There is something that bothers me, but I rarely hear discussed. It is often said that if you have XP you have a, “free,” Media Player, a “free browser,” etc. Those utilities and programs are not free. The user has to buy Windows before they can install them, so they were paid for as part of the price of Windows. As a monopoly, it forces most users to buy those programs, even when the users will later install an outside program.
    Brian, you said that when you buy/bought a new PC you may uninstall XP and replace it with 98 SE. When you buy a computer, part of the price is for Windows, whether you want it or not. Sad, isn’t it?

  18. I appreciate your comments, Leo, but I’d also appreciate some supporting comments or opinions. Why are you unhappy with XP? So far, we’ve had mixed results. We originally loved it, then one system (an upgrade, not a clean install) crashed horribly. So now, we’re just not sure.
    But what makes you so uncomfortable? Really, it’d help to understand.

  19. The security holes are the biggest concern, since everyone knows that the majority of the folks out there unpack their brand new computer, plug it in and then never do any updates, let alone KNOW that they are supposed to, or COULD do, any updates. If I am not mistaken, I would say that this blatant neglect by MS to put their new OS out there with all these security holes, is much worse than any new bright and shiny GUI, no matter how appealing it may be. It is like making a new car, one that doesn’t have any locks and which doesn’t need a key, anyone can come along and take it for a ride.
    Can some one who has been following this let me know: When Steve Gibson was on TSS talking about the denial of service attacks his web site got, and he delved into the nether world of IRC chats and bot creation, didn’t he, at that time, SAY VERY CLEARLY, that the new MS OS was full of security holes? And this was months before XP’s offical release…. did everyone at MS just ignore his warning? Or was his warning about a different problem?

  20. I know how funny this is going to sound… but system restore actually imroved xp for me…
    While sitting and pondering how nothing works on xp… I went to install nvidia’s detonator xp 23.11 drivers. This fun little thing killed my sytem… as it would no longer recognize my tnt2. I gave up all efforts to fix myself about a half hour later. I used system restore… and walla… it worked. Plus I was able to do things that I couldnt before… like use IE in anything other than the owner account. So… for once I have to praise a feature(only 1… and not more than 1)of xp… but it still scares me.

  21. Just leave Microsoft alone already Leo… If you were as big and massive as they are, you would have all known hackers trying to hack every Windows App. there is. Which we know are thousands. If and when Apple ever takes over the computer helm, then they will be hacked just like Microsoft. Give them a break already Leo! Love ya anyway…D.C…

  22. Just leave Microsoft alone already Leo… If you were as big and massive as they are, you would have all known hackers trying to hack every Windows App. there is. Which we know are thousands. If and when Apple ever takes over the computer helm, then they will be hacked just like Microsoft. Give them a break already Leo! Love ya anyway…D.C…

  23. Just leave Microsoft alone already Leo… If you were as big and massive as they are, you would have all known hackers trying to hack every Windows App. there is. Which we know are thousands. If and when Apple ever takes over the computer helm, then they will be hacked just like Microsoft. Give them a break already Leo! Love ya anyway…D.C…

  24. Just leave Microsoft alone already Leo… If you were as big and massive as they are, you would have all known hackers trying to hack every Windows App. there is. Which we know are thousands. If and when Apple ever takes over the computer helm, then they will be hacked just like Microsoft. Give them a break already Leo! Love ya anyway…D.C…

  25. Just leave Microsoft alone already Leo… If you were as big and massive as they are, you would have all known hackers trying to hack every Windows App. there is. Which we know are thousands. If and when Apple ever takes over the computer helm, then they will be hacked just like Microsoft. Give them a break already Leo! Love ya anyway…D.C…

  26. Just leave Microsoft alone already Leo… If you were as big and massive as they are, you would have all known hackers trying to hack every Windows App. there is. Which we know are thousands. If and when Apple ever takes over the computer helm, then they will be hacked just like Microsoft. Give them a break already Leo! Love ya anyway…D.C…

  27. Seems as though Doug was trying to get a point across. 😉
    I totally disagree with the myth “Windows is hacked more because it has 99% market share”. Look at web servers, Unix/Linux running Apache was the only thing and still has the great majority of sites, yet who gets hacked more? And of course the worms of 2001 attacked MS IIS. If the market share dictated who got attacked, Apache would be all over the news.

  28. It astounds me that people continue to defend Microsoft even though it is a convicted monopolist, and one which has bought and bullied settlements in many other lawsuits. Clearly while very successful they do not represent the best elements of the American dream. They will try to make money, eliminate competition, and exercise dominance at every chance and use illegal and ruthless tactics to accomplish this. Ethics do not seem to part of the company’s ethos. Security is a huge issue but I feel the worry is not primarily from hackers but from each time your system sends your info to the #1 hacker, Microsoft itself. By the way I’m pleased to see Leo’s mug, and those of his Tech t.v cohorts on television in Canada. But why the suit and tie when he is on Silicon Spin?

  29. It would be nice if Leo mentioned this on the air but I really doubt it. One because they are not taping shows right now. But also because I just have my doubts if such a thing would be said on the air after all the “more robust” and “more reliable” comments that’s been said.
    Just my 2 Lincoln coins worth.

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