A Website Dedicated to Computer Professionals...and some not so Professional

The Front on Internet Terrorism
Douglas Chick

With attacks from spam, worms, malware, adware, and hackers, Internet security will become so tight that nothing will get through, not even the good data. CEO Steve Ballmer, as well as other heads of industry met this weekend in Washington DC. with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to discuss Internet crime. There’s no question that there is a problem, in my opinion turning to the government for help is like asking them to solve to problems in the Mid-East; they can only make matters worse.

Microsoft does have a lot to be concerned about, as they are hackers #1 target; Steve Ballmer’ s explanation for this is Microsoft is a victim of its own popularity. Or in his words, “If there are one or two or three operating systems that have some high percentage of the market, then hackers will continue their evil doings. If there were 100 million operating systems, no one would attack." Ballmer said. Many computer people will contend that if Microsoft would have played fair and allowed for competition in the operating system market, there wouldn’t be a need for either.

Ballmer also said “…home computer users need to install firewalls, up-to-date security and antivirus software, while business users need to be more vigilant as well.” But from my view point as a network professional, “that’s a lot of expense just to keep Windows as an operating system”. With respect to our soldiers currently overseas, that’s like saying, If Iraqi would just think more like Americans, they wouldn’t be a threat to the world. Although, now we know that they never were. I’m speaking of Iraq. The EU court is still out on Microsoft. (I know, that’s a cheap shot.)

I’m also not suggesting that Microsoft is the sole cause of Internet crime; they are not, although Microsoft has made it easier for criminals by neglecting security over their own aggressive interest. Steve Ballmer said it himself in an interview in the Washington Posts,

"The browser wars were never about security, the browser wars were about features," Ballmer said, explaining why Microsoft added such items to Internet Explorer as ActiveX software to run Windows programs inside the browser. "I'm not saying that was right, with 20/20 hindsight; all I'm saying is the competitive marketplace took us all in a certain direction." Click here for the actual article.

Short cuts and self-interest always betray the trust of the consumer. Since in the beginning of 2000, the cost for personal and corporate security has far out weighed the fee for an operating system. In just sheer aggravation alone. It seems that credibility has been lost in every sector of the American corporation: from false corporate earnings, the fall of tech stocks, and overseas outsourcing, all point to the credibility of our countries CEOs. And even the President. The personal interest of the American CEO has cost the people of this country a lot of money. (And if Iraq is an example of the same, a lot of lives) At least with the Internet you can unplug and be safe, put what of real life?

Douglas Chick