The Times: critical flaw in Windows a ‘stupid pathetic mistake’ vs. Mac OS X ‘proper security archit

“Bill Thompson, computing expert, explains how a basic programming mistake has led to Microsoft’s announcement of a ‘critical’ security flaw in its widely-used Windows operating system. Microsoft programmers made a mistake in the part of the operating system code that allows programs to talk to each other,” The Times Online reports. “This would allow a hacker to send incorrect information to a program and cause it to crash – leaving that computer open to the outside world.”

“When a system crashes it doesn’t stop working, it runs a different program instead – which the hacker can specify and could allow them to take control of the computer. Microsoft is not the only company which writes bad code, but it is a target for hackers because it dominates the market. So it does have a duty to be better than everybody else and it is failing in that duty,” The Times Online reports. “This error is a stupid fault. Whoever wrote that piece of software should be mortified. It’s a pathetic little mistake.”

“This bug was identified six months ago. In the last year Microsoft said that it would focus much more on security. Given that this code was written before then, it can be given the benefit of the doubt. But it is quite clear that buried in the existing code are lots of problems,” The Times Online reports. “Mac OS and Linux are written in such a way that any faults don’t have such widespread effects. They have a proper security architecture built in, limiting access. Windows didn


  1. And people still continues to buy software from Microsoft.
    I can’t understand that. No matter what Microsoft does.. People will still buy software from Microsoft. I don’t understand that.

  2. Boys “Lawyers” – Time to fill for a big lawsuit against M$ – Their main OS sucks and the world knows it does.
    Windows users, you are being treated as “douchbags” by M$.
    Time to stand up for yourself and change things with you hands, unless you are happy to be tricked over and over.
    P.S. Tricked can be replaced by the word F….

  3. people sue apple for batteries that die over time (just like any other battery in the history of mankind) while people continue to buy microsoft products that compromises security because of their programming….

    i don’t get it…..

  4. Don’t know why a person would continue with Windows. But I also don’t know why SOMEONE doesn’t try to write a virus that would infect a Mac. Come on people, give it a try! Let’s put the obscurity through obscurity story to rest once and for all. How ’bout one of you Apple guys who work at Microsoft?

  5. Slowly and surely people are seeing the light.

    Maybe, just maybe, Apple should license its OS to HP. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> (Don’t flame me too hard.)

  6. Simple aintdave, I have a nice office full of paid for wintel machines, a firewall, free virus protection that works great, and MS keeps pumping out those security updates when their code gets a wrinkle. The ten grand or so it would take to replace this hardware with Apple does not seem like a good deal to me. Hell ten grand would only get me started, with all those VPC’s I would need.

    Hey RV, blow it out your rear. You DO understand that sort of language don’t you?

  7. aintdave wrote, “But I also don’t know why SOMEONE doesn’t try to write a virus that would infect a Mac. Come on people, give it a try! Let’s put the obscurity through obscurity story to rest once and for all. How ’bout one of you Apple guys who work at Microsoft?”

    For all we know Microsoft may have tried to write a virus to infect a Mac. But, given their ability to write code they probably failed.

  8. Good for you Joe McConnel,
    Unlike those who�ve expressed anger over iPod’s battery, you seem quite happy with your wintel configuration despite the serious flaws M$ has admitted.
    I have been updating my W2K (business laptop) for the last couple of hours. I must say that even the update system M$ offers sucks. One update finished before another and requests you to reboot your machine while another update is still in progress. What a primitive coding and what a bad design this OS suffers.

  9. You do test the security updates first, right Joe? Or maybe not, I don’t know. All I can say is it’s not nearly as easy as you make it sound which makes me doubt you admin an “office full” of Wintel machines, it sounds more like you’re only dealing with 4 or 5 to me. Meanwhile, try it when you have a *real* “office full” of machines (250+) like we do at my employer.

    First of all, everytime one of these security updates come along, we have to do sometimes several days of testing in order to assure that they aren’t going to break any of our mission critical apps, because the problem is they often do. After all of the time and money is spent testing them, and tweaking the other apps they break or otherwise affect, we then have to actually apply the patches to each individual system which takes another few days. After that, there are always a handful of individual PCs that have some sort of issue because of the patch and those that simply have to be completely re-imaged because they’re totally hosed. It costs my company several thousand dollars in paid employee time just to apply a couple of these patches and seeing as how they come along seemingly once a month or so, this becomes a very expensive and time consuming proposition.

    Bottom line is, out in the real world, it’s not nearly so simple as you make it seem to keep Windows based systems from imploding your entire business. I personally have nothing to do with how the IT dollars are spent here so I don’t have a personal stake in it since it’s not my money going down the drain, but if I did I can assure you I wouldn’t continue doing things the Microsoft way. It’s anything but cheap and easy…

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