Microsoft publicity stunt asks hackers to attack Windows Vista

“After suffering embarrassing security exploits over the past several years, Microsoft Corp. is trying a new tactic: inviting some of the world’s best-known computer experts to try to poke holes in Vista, the next generation of its Windows operating system,” The Associated Press reports.

“Microsoft made a test version of Vista available to about 3,000 security professionals Thursday as it detailed the steps it has taken to fortify the product against attacks that can compromise bank account numbers and other sensitive information,” AP reports.

“Microsoft has faced blistering criticism for security holes that have led to network outages and business disruptions for its customers. After being accused for not putting enough resources into shoring up its products, the software maker is trying to convince outsiders that it has changed,” AP reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That’s a great idea! Give hackers a head start on Vista. As if they need it.

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Symantec details more security holes in Microsoft’s Windows Vista – July 26, 2006
Symantec: Microsoft’s ‘improvements’ to Vista could cause instability, new security flaws – July 18, 2006
New invisible rootkit hits Windows including Vista – July 17, 2006
Sophos: Apple Mac OS X’s security record unscathed; Windows Vista malware just a matter of time – July 07, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006
Thurrott: Microsoft collapsing under its own weight, Gates has driven Windows Vista into the ground – April 20, 2006
What’s the difference between Mac OS X and Vista? Microsoft employees are excited about Mac OS X – March 22, 2006
Hackers already targeting viruses for Microsoft’s Windows Vista – August 04, 2005

37 Comments

  1. Let’s see here…say I’m a hacker..I can either (1) hack Vista pre-release and have Microsoft try to fix the hole or (2) find a hack, not tell Microsoft, and use it as soon as Vista hits the market.

    I think most hackers would opt for #2.

  2. That’s a great idea! Give hackers a head start on Vista. As if they need it.

    Me thinks MDN is suffering from a big case of hubris. These aren’t ‘hackers’. They are industry security professionals, and Microsoft’s “invitation” most likely came with a hefty paycheck and an NDA regarding anything they found.

    Microsoft fixes discovered security holes BEFORE Vista goes to market. The impression that Vista is different is re-inforced by the fact that security holes are more difficult to find and less plentiful than XP or earlier versions.

    Microsoft is doing absolutely the right thing. It looks like ‘retiring’ Gates is going to start paying dividends for Microsoft. Now, if the Board ‘retires’ Ballmer Microsoft can become a legitimate competitor again.

  3. Microsoft has faced blistering criticism for security holes that have led to network outages and business disruptions for its customers”

    U r joking right? Forgot to mention the catastrophic assault that is occuring daily on the Internet, due to seveal MILLION compromized zombie PCs running WINDBLOWS out their ass, flooding the internet with millions of spam emails and allowing gangsters to DDoS web sites…..

    costing billions of dollars to all internet users.

    Outlaw Micro$hit software today!

  4. What’s different about this version and the beta out there? If these guys were interested in Vista security, they’d already be poking at it. Maybe MS is offering incentives, like bounty for holes, free xbox, etc.

    This is a smart thing to do of course. You might say it is a bold and wise and super-innovative.

  5. Maybe if they paid say 50 bucks per found exploit (don’t think they could afford more ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />). Right now, why bother reporting a flaw when you can write a nice virus and get your leet-nick known over the internet? (yeah that is pretty lame but so are the guys and gals writing viruses)

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