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Microsoft rushed out an emergency security patch for its Windows operating system Thursday in the hope of heading off a potentially crippling hack attack to nearly a billion Windows-powered PCs. Normally, the software giant addresses bugs and security flaws through the issue of so-called software "patches" on the second Tuesday of each month. The fact that Microsoft felt compelled to issue a patch Thursday underscores the seriousness of the security flaw.
One of the major impacts of the current Presidential campaign has been to raise my 'skepticism level' from 'Guarded' to 'High' with intermittent spikes to 'Severe'.
I personally applaud Microsoft's far more proactive approach to security issues the last 18-36 months. I know they take a lot of flak for the laundry list of new problems that seem to appear weekly, but you have to recognize they (Windows and Office) are unquestionably an elephant sized target in a jungle mostly populated by squirrels.
(Ok, before you Macbigots and Linux lovers jump all over a fellow who belongs to both clubs, just consider the number of windows systems in the world vs. the total of all Linux variants. And then consider how many Windows machines are on desktops as opposed to being ensconced in relatively secure data centers. Simple economics dictates that 'bigger target' and 'easy access to tools' virtually dictates the highest threat activity will target Windows. Even bad guys are lazy and looking for the biggest 'bang for their buck'.)
All of which leads my suspicious mind to consider how great it is for Microsoft that this huge new threat targets WinXP, but does not affect Vista. Didn't I read somewhere that they are working overtime to retire XP?
And do you remember Vista? The OS Microsoft still wants business to adopt. The Windows OS that has respectable sales numbers only because it is virtually the only Windows OS offered to Consumers.
While I don't question the existence or seriousness of this new threat, I can't help wondering how much input Steve Balmer and the Vista marketing team had into how it was presented to the world???
Nah! Probably just my suspicious nature at work, but again.......
Microsoft did a stand-up job reporting this critical vulnerability. The sub-heading is misleading. In fact, there was such a large response to the webcast, that Microsoft added at least two additional webcasts to accommodate the demand.
Our enterprise even received a direct call from our account rep underscoring the immediate need for action on this vulnerability in order to prevent a massive worm from gaining momentum.
Microsoft has come a very long way in implementing security response infrastructure.