Sunday, October 29, 2006

New Canonical Oxymoron: "Microsoft Security Feature"

[On Slashdot, it was written:]
"This week the security firm Authentium found a workaround for Patch Guard, the security feature Microsoft has embedded into the 64-bit version of Windows."

Anything that highlights one of the many flaws in a typical Microsoft (in)security feature should not be considered an a mere exploit or even a workaround, but rather a tremendous public service! When said public service enables the installation of real security features (as opposed to the buggy bloatware which Microsoft Hype(tm) labels a "security feature"), Microsoft should not be allowed to use its monopoly power to silence or eliminate the very worthy competition. Of course the latter goal, getting rid of competitors, not protecting its users, is the real objective of Microsoft's attempted lock down of its 64-bit Windows kernel.

One of the principles of any good security scheme is that it is not dependent upon obscurity. If Microsoft was truly confident of its code, it would make the code open source. In reality, Microsoft is quite aware of how lame its code is and knows that even without seeing the source, other people are making an honest living delivering fixes for Microsoft's blunders. Hence, Microsoft tries to exclude the competition by preventing their products from working.

In the area of computer security, perhaps more than anywhere else, Microsoft is working very hard to lower the bar in order to increase its profits at the expense of ordinary users. I, for one, do not trust Microsoft. Just look at the spyware known as Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) notification that Microsft tried to foist upon the unsuspecting masses. Informed people refer to it as Windows Genuine Disadvantage...

I want someone with a vested interest in pointing out the glaring design flaws, numerous bugs, and generally feeble nature of the so-called security features in Microsoft's products to be able to implement effective solutions that protect the users of Microsoft products from malware, crackers, and (hopefully) Microsoft itself.

"Microsoft security feature" ought to be near the top of any list of canonical oxymorons.

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