Feeds

Viruses and hackers make Windows more secure – Gates

Maturing the Platform

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Virus writers and hackers are helping Microsoft to develop more secure products, Bill Gates claimed yesterday.

Speaking at at the Developing Software for the future Microsoft Platform in London yesterday, just hours before the MyDoom virus began spreading like wildfire across the Net, Gates reiterated that security remains key priority for the software giant.

He acknowledged that better security is vital if its .NET strategy is to succeed.

Microsoft would lose out, as would businesses, if customers resisted moves to put their businesses on the Net because of security concerns, he said.

He said Microsoft wanted to make sure viral epidemics cease to happen.

Gates did not say how this might happen beyond noting that the software giant had learned from hackers and recent viral outbreaks.

Microsoft has improved its inspection techniques, emphasised the value of fewer lines of code in software development and developed firewall technologies for PCs. Internet worms have also spurred improvements in auto-updating technology, according to Gates.

Bcause the smartest hackers targeted Windows Microsoft could improve the security of its platform more rapidly than OS rivals, he argued: hackers are "good for the maturation" of the platform"

"It would be wrong to say an operating system is more secure because nobody is attacking it," said Gates, in a clear dig at OS rivals such as Apple and Linux.

Getting customers to apply patches - vital in cutting down routes viral spread - is a thorny issue for Microsoft. Only one in five (20 per cent) customers are up to date with patches, Gates says.

Gates's perspective on hackers fits fairly closely to their own frequently-cited view that they are acting in an attempt to force Microsoft to improve the security of its products. Unlike his colleague Steve 'Sherriff' Ballmer, Gates isn't inclined to drawing analogies between hackers and bank robbers. ®

Related Stories

Ballmer to crackers: this PC ain't big enough for the both of us
Latest Email worm has SCO-facing payload

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.