Symantec Hopes To Remake (Tighten) Security
Most security tools will allow just about anything as long as it's not on a
black list. Symantec CEO John Thompson thinks it's time for a change. Because
exploits are getting worse and worse, Thompson believes we should turn security
on its head and only allow things that are specifically
outlined in a white list
While this appears overly restrictive, it might be better to have a locked-down
system that actually runs rather than a wide-open machine that's more frozen
than a king crab fisherman.
A better idea might be to build virtualization into the OS in very specific
ways -- such as isolating e-mail and the Internet from our documents. Of course,
this runs completely counter to Microsoft's attempts to integrate everything
with the Internet. But isn't that what got us into trouble in the first place?
Speaking of Symantec, my daughter Lauren just went off to college. Milliseconds
after connecting to the campus network, her HP laptop began running slower than
Kyle Petty with a flat tire. Now that's slow!
I paid for a Norton subscription, so she dutifully ran a Norton scan. After
eight hours, it was only a third of the way done. Next, she tried the Microsoft
Malicious Software Removal tool and it told her she had an unwelcome visitor
-- Backdoor:Win32/Rbot.gen!A! Even though this Trojan was first discovered over
three years ago, it managed to slip past Norton's defenses and set up shop.
We went back to Norton and it took three full days to complete the scan.
Just shows you how tough it is for even the top dogs to protect our systems.
Maybe Lauren will listen next time I offer to buy her an iBook!
Windows Server 2008 a Step Closer
This week, nearly finished code for Windows Server 2008 -- or a release candidate,
in Microsoft parlance -- is due
to ship. While not a certainty, this makes it a strong possibility that
the new server software will actually be available early next year.
Just as important, points out Redmondmag.com news hound Keith Ward, the first
service pack for Vista is expected very, very soon.
The Blue Hats Are Coming! The Blue Hats Are Coming!
Later this week, hackers
with good intentions will descend upon Redmond, Wash. and try to break into
Windows and other Microsoft products. Microsoft will give back by drilling deep
into new security issues such as virtualization, mobile and Office. Good times,
Mailbag: Office's 'Open' Challenger
unveiled last week its ODF-based suite of Office-like apps -- called Lotus
Symphony -- Lafe asked readers if any of them have tried out other alternatives
to Microsoft Office. Here's what some of them had to say:
I have used OpenOffice on Windows and Linux for years now. At work, we
use Microsoft Office. I have also installed OpenOffice here and use it more
often. And at home, I ONLY use OpenOffice (mostly Writer and Calc). One of
my favorite features is the ability to export to PDF.
I don't know why this hasn't already taken a huge share of the market
from MS. What's not to like? It's free, feature-packed and opens most MS stuff.
I have been using OpenOffice for a number of years now and I use it every
single day along with several open source programs. I have used it in my work
and play and I extoll its virtues to anyone in earshot who will listen.
Too many years have I played the endless upgrade game with Microsoft
and contributed to its corporate coffers. I am very comfortable with the OpenOffice
alternative and am confident that every incompatibility issue will be addressed.
I know they will continue to offer all the necessary bells and whistles I
might ever consider using. I just cannot say enough good things about it.
Yes, I have been running OpenOffice for most of this year and have only
gone back to the Windows stuff when I find a file I didn't port over to my
Linux server. There's a slight learning curve but I have really done much
better work with graphics in documents; OpenOffice has graphics standard and
the results are better than my work with WordPerfect 12.
Got something to add? Let us have it! Leave a comment below or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.