[unisog] Dropping executables - who does it?

STeve Andre' andres at msu.edu
Mon Feb 9 18:29:12 GMT 2004

On Friday 06 February 2004 06:11 pm, Brian Eckman wrote:
> Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu wrote:
> > And putting an  A/V tool that detects Windows virus makes my *AIX* box
> > safer how, exactly?
> >
> > To be fair, a number of people seem to have missed this one - several
> > people have recommended Sophos as well.  The point is that saying "you
> > must have an A/V installed to connect to the net" is a *stupid* and
> > *wasteful* requirement if your platform doesn't *have* a virus problem.
> >
> > It's kind of like saying "because cats can get feline leukemia, and
> > cats can be vaccinated against it, and it makes sense to require that
> > you can't bring your cat to XYZ without proof of immunization because
> > other cats will be there too, your dog can't come without being
> > vaccinated for feline leukemia".
> Point well taken. The reason our policy is worded as such is so that it
> does not appear "biased" against any particular OS. It does allow
> exceptions for situations where "anti-virus protection is not feasible".
> I personally think the policy should explicitly say Windows machines
> must run AntiVirus. But I've got better things to do than pick nits. And
> I don't write policy.
> Brian

AV polices darned well *should* be biased.

Windows is a diseased operating system.  Windows causes
more problems than every other operating system in the 
history of computers combined, and is the most fantastic virus
transport system yet devised.

Regardless of the fact that Windows is the most popular system
out, it is also the most hideously bug ridden, plague infested
system in existence.  AV policies which do not acknowledge this
are dancing around the facts.  Of course, most people who use
computers today have no idea what real operating systems are,
and have no concept of computers without software life forms
which threaten the life of their computers on a regular basis.  For
these people--now the majority of computer users everywhere--
the latest viral horror is just another fact of life.  This impacts
policy decisions because the people making the policy often
have no idea anything else exists.

It is time to call Windows for what it is: a moderately pleasent 
user interface intertwined with operating system code that has
less than the consistency of swiss cheese when it comes to
robustness and security, where major components (outlook, ie)
sprout forth a never ending series of problems.

Windows is diseased operating system.  AV and computer
policies in general need to acknowledge this.

--STeve Andre'
Michigan State University dept of Political Science computer geek

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