It Didn't Take Long
Sunday, November 4, 2001 - Well, Windows XP has been officially released for only a few days now and already a serious security issue has surfaced with it indirectly. In this case, the problem is directly with Microsoft's Passport 'service' that is integrated with current Microsoft products and services, including XP.
From a Wired News article concerning this...
...By cobbling together a handful of browser-based bugs with flaws in Passport's authentication system, Slemko developed a technique to steal a person's Microsoft Passport, credit card numbers and all, simply by getting the victim to open a Hotmail message.
The attack raises new questions about the inherent security of Passport, which is being positioned by Microsoft as the linchpin of its .NET e-commerce service initiative...
Please, read the entire article by clicking here. It is two pages long but should be required reading by anyone who uses the Internet. As I have cautioned before, if you care about the security of the data on your PC and your privacy while using the internet, be very cautious using ANY Microsoft product or service.
I continue to highly recommend people not upgrade to Windows XP and to avoid using Microsoft Passport and .NET services at any cost. My goal here is not to bash Microsoft but to simply inform. Take it or leave it, but be informed.
Microsoft has a long established dreadful track record for security and privacy issues. Anyone who trusts them or anyone employing their services with important personal data like credit card numbers is simply asking for grief.
Microsoft has done absolutely nothing to deserve people's trust (quite the contrary, in fact) and has proven unable to ensure adequate security in any of their products and services. Any of them, including MSN and Hotmail, since Microsoft is increasingly integrating all of them.
This is not simply my opinion but facts taken from knowledgeable objective computer experts. If you use Microsoft products, you must know what you're doing and you must stay current with security patches issued by Microsoft, which are legion and often too late for a lot of users by the time they are issued.
As I've stated before, I have no blind loyalty to any particular computer platform or corporation and use what I consider to be an informed choice of the best tools to do my job. I couldn't care less who makes them, but at the moment it is obviously not Microsoft, although on my PCs I have little choice but to use Windows 98 and Windows Millennium operating systems and use Office and Internet Explorer on both the PCs and Macs. But I do so cautiously, keep my virus software up-to-date, stay informed, and have no plans to upgrade any of the Microsoft products I do use to current versions, which offer no useful features or benefits I don't already have in the older versions or on the Mac.
It amazes me a company like this could have become the monopoly that it has. Something is terribly wrong somewhere, folks. The phrases You Get What You Pay For and Caveat Emptor come to mind.
I feel strongly enough about what I've said here that if the day ever comes when I can no longer operate online without being forced to use Microsoft 'services' then I will simply pull the plug. hmmph!
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Copyright © 2001 by Gordon L Wolford.
All rights reserved.