LinuxWorld: Love letters

“You may be surprised to hear that I do not believe the answer
is to cripple Outlook by disabling its ability to run attachments
as programs. It irks me that many technical users who were smart
enough to avoid opening this particular attachment seem to feel
superior to those who were caught by the virus. I challenge those
users to give me a legitimate technical reason why people should
not be able to open any attachment to any mail message.”

“Why isn’t it preferable to create an environment where people
don’t have to know the difference between opening a file to view
its contents and opening a file to run its contents? Most people I
know don’t want to know the difference between viewing and running
a file. And I don’t think they should have to. Every reason why you
can’t safely open an executable mail attachment today can be traced
back to a flaw in the design of the mail program, operating system,
or both.”

“Microsoft can deliver this kind of environment, but it
The only way to build a truly safe execution
environment for applications is to insulate the applications from
the guts of the system. In other words, in order to make Windows
safe, the Windows execution environment has to become more
abstract. This creates a big problem for Microsoft. A safe,
abstract execution environment is relatively easy for competitors
to reproduce on platforms other than Windows.”

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