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The Microsoft Bashing Continues... 12 November 2001 Edition
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Former US vice-president Al Gore is famous for claiming to have invented the Internet -- but now Bill Gates looks set to usurp Gore as the king of the hot-aired boasters.

Bill has gotten it into his head that, if it weren't for him, the Free Software movement would not be thriving as it is now. In fact, The Register headlined their coverage of this news as "How Microsoft invented open source".

Next thing you know, Bill will be flying in the face of Moore's law by telling us that 640K of RAM is all we'll ever need :-)

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Given this level of arrogance, it's probably no wonder that so many people have their knives sharpened and ready to plunge into Billy-boy's back -- something that seems to be increasingly easy of late, at least where matters of security are concerned.

Microsoft must, therefore, be kicking itself right now -- because despite the claims that Windows XP will be the company's most secure system ever -- it has only taken about three weeks for the first major security hole to appear.

It seems that IE6 (as supplied with XP), and perhaps some earlier versions of the company's browser, have a security hole that will allow cunningly coded websites to grab cookies that were placed on the user's system by another site.

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This security hole comes hot on the tail of a major hole in the company's electronic wallet component of the Passport system -- something that ought to be ringing alarm bells.

But wait, there's more!

If this report is to be believed, Microsoft are now so embarrassed by their seemingly endless list of software flaws and failed promises that they're seeking to implement a cone of silence to hush-up news of such events.

But wait, there's still more...

this report strongly criticises the design of Microsoft's Windows software (including XP) because it allows malicious code to bypass personal firewall software so easily.

Let's be fair about all this though -- I know for sure that *I* couldn't write a piece of software as large or complex as Windows -- and even the best open-source software has bugs (it's just that people don't seem to make so much noise about them).

Microsoft is a big target and it's a lot of fun to find weaknesses in products produced by such dominant and powerful companies.

However, Microsoft don't seem to be doing a particularly good job of managing the fallout from these events.

Come on Bill -- why not offer a US$1 million bounty for all security holes found and reported by users? Get the people on your side.

On second thoughts -- even Microsoft might not be *that* rich.

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Admins asked to check buggy line printer daemons (AAP - 08/11/2001)

New vulnerability exposes Excel and PowerPoint macros ZDNet - 29/10/2001)

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