Monday, October 09, 2006

Computer Security we can't have it both ways, or can we?

We are on a cusp right now as you read this.  I don't always care for Microsoft's antics, and sometimes abuse of the public.  Abuse? Well for years the public has been at the mercy of Microsoft when it came to securing their computer.  You could never stay one step ahead.  As soon as your back was turned, here came some more Malicious  software.  All, and I mean EVERYONE told Microsoft enough was enough, do something about this. So Microsoft tried, and tried again. 
They are now fixing to release another Operating system called Vista.  Vista Could put the Security Software industry out of business.  Is this a bad thing?  No its not.  As I have always said in the past... Any security software you purchase is never 100% reliable.  You can install your upgrades, and get your virus updates, and a hour later have it all compromised.  As fast as you try to fix the problem, another problem arises.  So the security industry may be out of business.  Or will they?  Well deep in Vista is a means to stop software from changing the Kernel.  Or for that fact even messing with the kernel.  Most of your security software do just this.  They want to continue messing with the kernel.  The kernel is the backbone of the Operating system.  If you asked the laymen whom owns a computer what the kernel is, most couldn't tell you.  The only ones who know the most are the Manufacturers of the Operating systems, the security software industry, and the Malicious  software coders.  I am explaining this to you, because some people don't know.  If the only ones with access to the kernel is Microsft it could possibly backfire at them. They will have no one to help them if something should happen to crop up.
Vista to me means that down the road a person trying to shut down a portion of the Internet, or launching a denial of service attack will have a harder time doing so, if they use Vista machines to do their dirty work.  They will also have a harder time going after machines to infect.  In general the ISPs, Host, businesses, and even the public will come out ahead if Vista does all it claims it will.  The only ones that will loose is the Security software vendors.  They will either have to scale back on their software, or be completely out of a job.  The bad news is these security vendors can take Microsoft to court.  If they end up with a Judge that doesn't know how bad the Operating system needs these improvements, then Microsoft could loose their case right off the bat, due too ignorance on part of the Court system.  Face it many cases are lost due to ignorance.  it's one thing to have the facts, and a entirely different thing to be able to understand them.
However I do agree with the vendors about Microsoft's pushing Windows Live OneCare on users when they first boot up.  Put a read me file or a media file on the desktop, and leave it up to the user on what to install.  This means if a vendor wants to continue their security software offer, they should be allowed too.  Especially during Vista's first years.  Which also leads me to believe that if OneCare is still being offered by Microsoft, then the security vendors can still carry on making software for the Vista.  It also leads me to question... Is Vista really as secure as Microsoft claims it is?  If it was, then why do we still need OneCare? Microsoft should allow the vendors access to the code at least, so that we wont have a backlash of new viruses, etc to hit the Operating System in the near future after the first release.  The best security is to be one step ahead.  Keeping them in the dark hurts EVERYONE.  Least we should not forget that when Windows XP hit desktops, it too was said to be more securer.  Is it?  At least having more heads checking for ways to break Vista security wise, would be better than just relying on Microsoft.  After all, human error is the number one reason why the older Operating systems failed in the first place.   Or so I believe it's the major number one reason.  Your mileage may differ.   Comments?