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New Scientist: Go forth and multiply: Only diversity will protect PCs against future Love Bugs

May 11, 2000, 21:41 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kurt Kleiner, Duncan Graham-Rowe)

[ Thanks to Gareth Barnard for this link. ]

"Computer security experts have poured scorn on Bill Gates's claim that breaking up Microsoft will make it harder to fight future viruses such as last week's Love Bug. What's needed, say the experts, is a more diverse range of software on people's computers, not a uniform, monopolistic one."

"Writing in this week's Time magazine, Gates argues that products will be less safe if applications such as the Microsoft Outlook e-mail program had to be developed separately from its operating system. "Provisions like these would kill innovation in the Operating System," Gates wrote. "Updates to Windows and Office technologies that could, for example, protect against attacks such as the Love Bug virus would also be much harder for computer users to obtain."

"Such statements surprise security experts, who reckon the close connection between application software and the operating system compromises security. "A big part of the problem is the tight integration between Outlook and the operating system," says Ryan Russell of the computer security company Security Forum in San Mateo, California. "I would think that some separation between the product lines would actually be more secure."

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