September 16, 2002

Bill Gets Off Easy

From Microsoft's New Deal with Uncle Sam.

"On Wednesday, the Bush administration is scheduled to publish its proposal to increase the security of the Internet. Properly titled the "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," it's said to talk with great earnestness about helping home users safeguard their computers, about thwarting online intrusions into business systems, and about providing better training to federal network administrators.

"But, according to people familiar with the draft report, it pays scant attention to Microsoft, which has been responsible for more online security woes than any other company in history."

For the last two weeks my inbox is getting around 20 e-mails a day due to Microsoft's neglect. Both bots and humans are writing to me to say that I've been sending out mail with an infected attachment. I haven't sent anything, of course; I'm in the address book of some Windows user who is infected with the Klez worm. As a Mac user, I'm immune to that but it doesn't stop my name from being put into the From: field of these tainted messages. According to the article, it's been estimated that four Windows-based infections -- Nimda, Code Red, SirCam, and Love Bug -- cost us $13 billion in lost productivity and lost data.

Microsoft should be held more accountable, but that's not going to happen during this administration.


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