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Microsoft Downplays CSIS Report

A recent report issued by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) warns that the hacker who penetrated Microsoft’s network in October could pose a threat to national security.

The report, entitled, “Cyber Threats and Information Security: Meeting the 21st Century Challenge,” says the government should be concerned because most military and government systems are powered by Microsoft.

Microsoft has admitted in the past that the hacker did penetrate its network, but denied that the hacker gained access to its source code for some if its future products. Despite Microsoft’s denial, the CSIS report says the government, as well as the private sector, should be concerned about future Microsoft products.

When contacted about the report, Microsoft issued a statement in response to CSIS’ report on the break-in and the consequences.

“The CSIS quote sensationalizes the incident and misstates the fact in a number of important ways,” a Microsoft spokesman said. “Most important, Microsoft has repeatedly stated that after tracking intruders and investigating their activities, there is no evidence and no basis to believe that they had any access at all to Windows or Office Source code. That is, we have no reason to believe that the intruders were able to see Windows or Office source code, much less modify it. Microsoft’s current and future products remain intact and secure, and customers can use them with confidence.

A report by Giga Information Group, entitled "The Microsoft Hack Reveals Security Strength, Not Weakness," seemed to back up Microsoft’s claims. In the report Steven Hun states, "Microsoft's technical and procedural security measures following the hack were appropriate and successful, and most qualify as best practices." – Jim Martin

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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