Symantec: Microsoft’s ‘improvements’ to Vista could cause instability, new security flaws

“Some of Microsoft’s efforts to make Windows Vista its most stable and secure operating system ever could cause instability and new security flaws, according to a Symantec report,” Joris Evers reports for CNET News.

Evers reports, “Researchers at Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec examined the new networking technology in recent test releases of Vista, Microsoft’s next major operating system release, according to the report. They found several security bugs and determined that Vista’s networking technology will be less stable, at least in the short run, than Windows XP’s, the report said.”

Evers reports, “In their paper, titled ‘Windows Vista Network Attack Surface Analysis: A Broad Overview,’ Symantec researchers put the networking technology in Vista under a magnifying glass to determine its exposure to external attacks. The team said it found several flaws in build 5270 of Vista and even more in earlier test versions. However, these were all fixed by Microsoft in build 5384, the version of the operating system that was publicly released in May as Beta 2. ‘While it is reassuring that Microsoft is finding and fixing these defects, we expect that vulnerabilities will continue to be discovered for some time,’ the researchers wrote. ‘A networking stack is a complex piece of software that takes many years to mature.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Too Hot!” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: It’d be impossible to be less surprised.

By the end of 2005, there were 114,000 known viruses for PCs. In March 2006 alone, there were 850 new threats detected against Windows. Zero for Mac. While no computer connected to the Internet will ever be 100% immune from attack, Mac OS X has helped the Mac keep its clean bill of health with a superior UNIX foundation and security features that go above and beyond the norm for PCs. When you get a Mac, only your enthusiasm is contagious. – More info here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
Sophos: Apple Mac OS X’s security record unscathed; Windows Vista malware just a matter of time – July 07, 2006
Sophos Security: Dump Windows, Get a Mac – July 05, 2006
Symantec sues Microsoft to halt Windows Vista development – May 19, 2006
Security company Sophos: Apple Mac the best route for security for the masses – December 06, 2005
Computer columnist: anti-virus software purely optional for Apple Macs, not so for Windows – November 01, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005

New invisible rootkit hits Windows including Vista – July 17, 2006
Microsoft demos Windows Vista on Apple MacBook Pro – July 01, 2006
What Microsoft has chopped from Windows Vista, and when – June 27, 2006
Windows Vista rips-off Mac OS X at great hardware cost (and Apple gains in the end) – June 13, 2006
CNET reporter: Apple Mac mini is my most ‘Vista Ready’ PC – May 24, 2006
Thurrott: Microsoft collapsing under its own weight, Gates has driven Windows Vista into the ground – April 20, 2006

Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Why buy a Dell when Apple’s Intel-based computers will run both Mac OS X and Windows? – June 08, 2005
Windows users who try Apple’s Mac OS X Tiger might not want to go back – June 07, 2005


  1. There’s MS, already controls the world’s OS, then there’s Symantec – for some reason they think they need to be installed on everybodies computer irregardless of platform… hhmmmmm… I wonder why?

    Seriously, Symantec needs to go away and reivent itself while they’ve still got an operating budget to work with.

  2. “…for some reason they think they need to be installed on everybodies [sic] computer irregardless of platform..”

    Mr. Peabody…..Symantec was created by thinking LIKE a virus. personally I think it is more like a plague

  3. The Virtual Bookeeper is open! Many different bets you can place on the new MSFT vapourware, such as:

    • Will it actually make retail shelves at all
    • Time frame for first exploited vulnerability
    • Type of first documented attack
    • Time frame of first complaint from Third party
    • First court case re intellectual property
    • First court case re patent infringement

    and lots more!!!


  4. I just think the MDN take and some of the responses are a little hypocritical.

    Remember when Apple came under fire for its vulnerabilities and people here pointed out that it didn’t seem right that Apple was being criticised for vulnerabilities that it had since patched? Well, that’s exactly what’s happened here. Symantec tested earlier builds and admits that more recent builds have patched the flaws that they had previously found.

    I’m no MS apologist, but fair’s fair.

  5. I love a good virus waged on the PC world a much as the next mac guy, but all this news is coming from Symantec. If we don’t trust them when they’re slinging FUD on osX to sell their software, we certainly can’t begin trusting them because they’re slinging FUD with the PC os. We can’t have it both ways.

    I’d take this with a grain of salt. I’m not saying Vista is any better than XP on security, just that Symantec saying it is FUD at it’s best. Yawn.

  6. A pox on both their houses!

    Very appropriate MDN word, “Followed” as in:

    Since both companies were most interested in making a profit without delivering value, it followed that the one who got twisted in the middle is still the customer.

    You can make a profit without manipulating the customer, but some companies just don’t trust that idea enough.

  7. What’s happened to Symantec? In the last couple of weeks they’ve praised OS X and knocked M$. I don’t know what to expect out of them anymore. The end as we know it must be upon us.

  8. “Irregardless” is NOT a word.

    Regaridng, means about something.
    Regardless means NOT about something.
    Irregardless, if a word, which it isn’t, would negate regardless, meaning irregardless, if it were a word, would mean regarding.


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