Microsoft Warns About Security Flaws

This article was kind of scary to me. Microsoft Corp. Warned that there are five new "critical"-rated security flaws in a few of its programs. These security flaws could allow attackers to take control of a personal computer completely. Oh, and guess which programs they are? Well... Windows, Internet Explorer, Word and Messenger software programs, and even its Exchange Server software (used on networked computers to manage and store e-mail traffic). Do you use any of these programs? I sure do. Computer security experts urged users to download and install the patches, available at www.microsoft.com/security. There are always hackers that are trying to take control of vulnerable systems and spread viruses. I have battled with a virus before on my computer at home and it's no fun. I wonder if these security flaws just happen sporadically, or if they have always been there and no one has caught them until they rise to the surface.

1 comment:

Dr. Tufte said...

This is a cost of integratability. Microsoft products have more flaws because they have to try and satisfy everyone. That ends up including the hackers too.

There is also a negative network externality at work here. The value to a hacker of exploiting a flaw is proportional to the number of people using the system, yet so is the number of hackers. This suggests that less popular software should have far fewer security problems - a fact which Apple likes to crow about, even though it merely reflects their small market share.