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The Times (UK): Inbuilt cracks in Windows' security

Jun 10, 2000, 18:41 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eddie Bleasdale)

"Some computer manufacturers have a vested interest in ensuring the instability of desktop PCs..."

"With the "Iloveyou" virus we have seen yet another virus attack against Windows PCs. This has occurred despite assurances made by the antivirus software companies, after last year's Melissa virus, that the precautions they had made would prevent similar attacks. Viruses are becoming more vicious. They are possibly the single biggest threat to security that organisations face. In the near future we can expect to see a derivative of the "Iloveyou" virus that will do real damage. This virus will spread rapidly and will be able to destroy the computers' firmware - software embedded in the heart of the machine."

"So, who is to blame for the mess we are in? The computer industry saw how electronic calculators rapidly went from high-priced luxury items to low- cost commodities. There was a determination on the part of the vendors to ensure the same would not happen to PCs. ...The computer vendors have agreed to this strategy simply to maintain their revenues. They force their customers to upgrade to new and expensive PCs every few years. Viruses are a result of this culture where there is no proper concern paid to the engineering of desktop computing. The security of Windows is fundamentally flawed. "

"Viruses are not a threat to operating systems such as Unix and Linux which can be configured to prevent e-mails from starting the execution of a program. Unix was designed in association with the US Department of Defense to be a stable and secure operating system to run the internet. Linux is a rewrite of Unix and has been developed by programmers co-operating over the internet. What's more, it is free. It runs well on low-cost hardware and eliminates the constant churning the computer vendors impose on the users of Windows."

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