US Department of Homeland Security: patch Microsoft Windows now or risk complete system compromise

“The US Department of Homeland Security is urging users of the Windows Operating System to apply security patches released by the company this week as quickly as possible,” Louisa Hearn reports for The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Flaws in desktop applications like Windows are being increasingly used to launch security attacks and Microsoft sends out monthly patch updates,” Hearn reports. “However one of the recently discovered flaws in its operating system has attracted special attention from the DHS and other security organisations because of the widespread damage it could cause to IT systems.”

“‘Attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems routinely occur within 24 hours of the release of a security patch. This vulnerability could impact government systems, private industry and critical infrastructure, as well as individual and home users,’ the DHS warned,” Hearn reports.

Hearn reports, “The MS06-040 server service vulnerability is considered the most ‘critical’ of the security bulletins said anti-virus company, Symantec, because the possibility for a “widespread worm that may leverage this vulnerability is high” and could result in a complete system compromise.”

Full article with here.

MacDailyNews Take: So, if you’re unfortunate enough to have to run Windows, patch that turd. Again. Windows is a cancer on personal computing and the choice to “standardize” on Windows was one of the worst mistakes ever made en masse. Thankfully, that mistake can easily be corrected: Get a Mac.

Proof that the government is a special sort of stupid is shown in the first four related articles below.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
CCIA wants U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security to reconsider buying ‘insecure Microsoft software’ – August 29, 2003
U.S. Department of Homeland Security says Windows vulnerable to attack – August 01, 2003
Department of Homeland Security chose Microsoft due to time and money limitations – July 21, 2003
U.S. Department of Homeland Security awards enterprise agreement to Microsoft – July 15, 2003

Get a Mac: Viruses, spyware cost U.S. consumers $7.8 billion over last two years – August 08, 2006
Microsoft’s oft-delayed, much-pared-down Windows Vista hacked at Black Hat – August 07, 2006
Ballmer analyzes Microsoft’s One Big Mistake, Vista… er, ‘One Big’ Vista Mistake – August 02, 2006
Symantec details more security holes in Microsoft’s Windows Vista – July 26, 2006
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
What Microsoft has chopped from Windows Vista, and when – June 27, 2006
Apple: ‘Get a Mac. Say ‘Buh-Bye’ to viruses’ – June 01, 2006
Security company Sophos: Apple Mac the best route for security for the masses – December 06, 2005
Hackers already targeting viruses for Microsoft’s Windows Vista – August 04, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005

45 Comments

  1. Laughing my A** off. MDN, your take is PRICELESS!!!

    On a more serious note, how can the federal government of the USA, charged with the betterment of its people, not immediately and with most haste outlaw this software? It alone is clearly, as they have identified, a major national threat.

  2. When the department of homeland security come out and says windows is a serious risk you think more people would get a clue. The mac isn’t perfect but at least the government doesn’t warn us about such horrible flaws.

  3. It absolutely amazes me that people, governments, companies etc. continually defend the cancer that is Windows. It is bad for business, bad for stress levels and bad for the eyes (will Windoze EVER get anti-aliasing on fonts?)

    I still find it incredible that people accept that anti-virus is a necessary piece of software.

    Most Mac ‘admin’ guys I know do the job because it’s fun, and they also do it part time as well as having another profession such as graphic design or architecture so when the Macs are set up they can do some real work.

    MW: fine – The fine for Microsoft releasing Windows to the world should be MASSIVE.

  4. Windows is a cancer on personal computing and the choice to “standardize” on Windows was one of the worst mistakes ever made en masse. Thankfully, that mistake can easily be corrected:Get a Mac.

    Sorry but it’s not that easy. Apple’s OS has only been as secure and reliable as it is now for about 5 years. The choice to standardize on Windows came long before OSX started to mature. Before OSX there was little reason for businesses to use Apple given that their OS wasn’t much better but the hardware came at a very high price.

    Finally Apple has a complete package that is starting to be competitive but it’s still a hard sell for businesses that have sooooo much money invested in customized software. Although Apple’s product is now superior in every way they are still “late” to the game of trying to supply the business world.

    For personal use it’s a no brainer. I love my Macs.

  5. At work they just announced that people who do not leave their computers on (but logged off, so that the sys admins can patch things)at night starting tonight will be shot…twice. Of course, they expect to take about a WEEK to get everything done….

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