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Monday, October 27, 2003

SecurityFocus Relates Dismay at Utter Ignorance of Computing Public 

The Register interviews Scott Granneman, SecurityFocus, teacher of technology at Washington University and at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley. The article is entitled, "Joe Average User is in Trouble", and Mr. Granneman immediately gets to the point. "Security is just not a concept that "normal" folks focus on. It's not even on the radar screen. It's just not thought about at all."

The average user has not attended to securing his dataport and so will answer in the negative these basic questions:
"Do you update your anti-virus software regularly?"
"Do you run Windows Update regularly?"
"Do you have personal firewall software running on your computer?"

SecurityFocus identifies as adding to the confusion Microsoft's manufacturing missteps like an unending stream of patches flowing from Redmond, Washington including patches that themselves are buggy, requiring further patches and updates to fix these patches. SecurityFocus recommends Microsoft desperately needs to improve the underlying security of their products and improve the way that its operating systems are updated and patched.

Microsoft will probably install patches and updates automatically, by default, to solve the problem of the millions of people who never run Windows Update. Microsoft recently purchased GeCAD, a small Romanian anti-virus software company, to harness the millions of people who never install or update anti-virus software. Microsoft bundled an extremely simplistic "Internet Connection Firewall" with Windows XP, but it is turned off by default and only blocks incoming traffic. Microsoft is making changes to the way attachments open in the corporate email program Outlook, but Microsoft has no plans to improve free Outlook Express any further.
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