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Fired Security Researcher Resurfaces

Security expert fired over controversial report that accused Microsoft of contributing to global insecurity now at Verdasys.

A security expert fired over a controversial report that accused Microsoft of contributing to global insecurity by virtue of its near-monopoly on desktop operating systems has found a job with a relative newcomer to the security field.

Dan Geer, formerly CTO of @stake, has caught on with Verdasys, which makes a product called Digital Guardian. Digital Guardian is a system that monitors and audits users, displaying warnings and eventually denying resource access if users violate administrator-proscribed rules.

Geer became something of a hero in the security community following his firing, which came the same day that he and a number of other security experts released the report, which called the ubiquity of Windows on the desktop a "monoculture." [See "Report: Microsoft Monopoly Puts Computing at Risk" in the News archive or click here.—Editor] It said that the potential risk of damage from any vulnerability in Windows was magnified hugely by its pervasiveness. The report went on to recommend that other OSs be used in the enterprise, and suggested government intervention in helping reach that goal.

@stake does a significant amount of business with Microsoft, and immediately wiped any traces of Geer's existence with the company off its Web site. Geer, Verdasys' vice-president and chief scientist, recently released a white paper titled, "The Shrinking Perimeter: Making the Case for Data-Level Risk Management," which calls for a re-examination of perimeter defense and its ability to protect data.

Verdasys has been business since February 2003, according to Nick Stamos, VP of products and services. To obtain the white paper, click here.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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Reader Comments:

Mon, Mar 29, 2004 Rob San Francisco

@stake had to make a move on this, and I suppose they figured the financial damage they would suffer by keeping their former CTO would be more serious than the loss of credibility that will result from this action. Interesting choice.

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