The Next Battle In Microsoft Security War
What has become known as "Patch Tuesday" has come round again this week.
This time there are six ‘critical update’ patches for Windows. This
month’s event is highlighted as Microsoft’s newest pet, Vista, gets the
first of what I expect to be many, many such ‘critical update’ patches.
The update patch for Vista rates pretty high on the irony meter because
although it’s been billed as the most secure version of windows yet the
flaw was in it’s "malware protection engine", used by several Microsoft
security programs including the so-called "Windows Defender" to help
guard against online threats. According to Microsoft, it could let an
attacker "take complete control" of a computer.
As if that isn’t enough, Vista has already been reported to fall victim
to what has been termed a "remarkably low tech hack". You see, one of
Vista’s new features is a speech recognition system that allows commands
to be given by simply speaking into the computer’s microphone. The
problem is that it is possible for a website to be set up to play sound
files on the PC speaker when you load it. The sound files contain a
voice speaking commands and if speech recognition is turned on, the
microphone picks up the voice from the speakers and obediently executes
those commands no matter what they are.
Overall it seems that Vista is making a big splash and causing a lot of
oohs and aahs, but there is growing talk about weaknesses being
discovered as people explore Vista’s innards.
My personal recommendation is to stay away from Vista. Instead you’d be
better off checking out Debian Linux, an
entirely free operating system that has Microsoft beat all hollow
when it comes to security and has none of the DRM junk that is part of
content providers taking control of YOUR computer.
"Patch Tuesday," when Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) releases repairs for
problems in its software, came and went this week with six critical
fixes – including the first one that touches Vista, the new operating
system billed as the most secure Windows version yet.
The hole registers high on the irony scale: The flaw was in a
"malware protection engine" that helps several Microsoft security
products – including "Windows Defender" for Vista – guard against
online threats. The problem could let an outsider "take complete
control" of a victim’s computer, according to Microsoft’s security
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