Date: Wed, 05 May 2004 19:04:30 GMT
From: -Bob- <uctraingNOSPAMMEnospamanet.com>
Subject: Re: OT- Heads Up - Sasser plug


On Tue, 4 May 2004 16:50:19 GMT, hohnospamlid.invalid (Goran Larsson) wrote: >The amazing thing about MS Windows is that it seems that every security >issue results in exploits that totaly opens up the system. I have never >seen the same "openness" in other operating systems. MS Windows >security is like a house of cards, a small disturbance and everything >comes falling down. The basic problem is driven architecturally by the Microsoft *Business* model. It is a strategic problem, not tactical. The issue is Microsoft's integration of the desktop into the world. That is, they want to eliminate the lines, between application, desktop, server, and the Internet. This is their goal, vision, direction and purpose. It is in fact their entire software strategy and the key to their architectural design. They want to allow any application to call any application from anywhere. Total integration of the desktop to the file system to the Internet. No walls, and (eventually) no user knowledge that there is even a difference in opening a document that is on the Internet, on the local hard drive, or on a server. OS, network, and applications merge in one homogeneous mass. Good for simple minded users, good for selling an integrated environment to the corporate clients, bad for the world. This strategy leads to their inappropriate blending of the OS with the applications. Applications do not run in isolated spaces as they should, they run in shared spaces with no real boundaries. Security is always a patch because their architecture is not secure. The lawsuit bought against them for browser integration was correct in it's goal - separate the applications from the OS - but unfortunately not only did the Judge have no insight into the vision (above) neither did those bringing the lawsuit. As a practical example, witness the "Code Red" era problems wherein a smart invader could simply (publicly) call the IIS server, feed it a CGI call that effectively walked out of the server directories and into the OS, and do *whatever* they wanted to the server. This hole was totally unexcusable. There is no reason that an application on a web server should, ever, ever be able to get outside the web server's directories. Yet it was possible because MS wanted the server itself to be able to call any part of the OS or any application on the server without any restrictions. As another example, look at how the did the user "security" on an IIS server - they force the administrator to set up accounts for any user who will access restricted *web* resources. This is so incredibly stupid that it's hard to find words to describe it. You have to give a user a *local* login in order to provide them with access to restricted *web only* resources. Why ? Because the MS master plan calls for a "one login" approach to all resources as part of the integration. They only way to do this was to combine your MS-domain login with your web server login. Security is never an issue for MS when it runs up against the master plan of homogeneous integration. These are just two examples and I fear this has become a rant. So, I'll shut up now except to say that nearly every MS "problem" can be traced right back to their vision as cited above.

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