[Dshield] Microsoft - Threat to National Security?
superc at visuallink.com
Thu Sep 25 17:35:15 GMT 2003
They are basically right, but it isn't really a new topic. There was
discussion of this back in the computer war days when the decision was
being made to open more of the Darpa net to public usage.
The question becomes, if all of the Windows based machines went dead
tomorrow, then what machines and systems would still be functional. That
answer has changed for the worst in the past ten years. The next question
should deal with how long would it take to recover or get back up.
Most locations don't even have standalone typewriters anymore. So paper
flow is clearly vulnerable. Do you even have carbon paper available in
your office today? A long time ago there was (there might still be) a
program that dealt with a Nation's ability to survive an EMP pulse. Pre
computer cars with mechanical distributors were safe, cars with electronic
controlled ignition for the most part weren't. Phone switching systems
with the old style frame rooms and mechanical relays were safe, the newer
computerized systems weren't. While a different kind of attack the issues
are related. What PBX box is hacker immune? How many now accept
instructions from Windows based machines? Sadly, more and more of the
Pentagon has become Windows based. Government and industry was forced by
software compatibility issues, back in the days, to pick which box was
going to be the future. User friendly added impetus to the changeover.
End consumers didn't want a system that forced them to manually deal with
"174 If A3$ = DY$, then goto 9382," or arrays, and pixels, etc. Windows
software is what 99 out of 100 businesses (including government offices)
run on. Oil tankers use Windows based software to steer the big ships.
Some automated refineries and power systems run on Windows. If another non
CPM computer system has a patch that allows it to translate and run Windows
software, then it becomes just as vulnerable. The only real world solution
I see is a risky, highly unlikely, long term one. If B. Gates would just
stop churning out newer, more buggy products every three months and
instead just focus on fixing the products already released, and release all
of the source codes, we might be able to identify and close the holes.
Since that is incredibly unlikely and new defective software will continue
to flow and we will rush to buy the newest and the cheapest our
vulnerability will increase. Even the operational military has begun to
become Windows dependent and that to me is scary.
Subject: [Dshield] Microsoft - Threat to National Security?
From: Kenton Smith <ksmith at chartwelltechnology.com>
Date: 24 Sep 2003 11:34:41 -0600
To: list at dshield.org
Has anyone else had a chance to read this report regarding how
Microsoft's monopoly position makes it a national security threat? I'd
be curious to hear other people's take on this. I'm still trying to come
up with something coherent, it's certainly controversial, I'll give it
Go here and click on the Read Report link -
Please don't make this an o/s war thread, that's not in anyone's best
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