Feeds

Gates: security concerns propel IE7 launch

Bill goes phishing for Jolie

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

RSA 2005 Information security concerns have prompted Microsoft to release a new version of Internet Explorer before the next version of Windows ships. Contrary to previous plans, Microsoft will release IE7 as a beta in "early summer" 2005. Longhorn, the next iteration of Windows, isdue late next year.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates today said IE7 will offer Windows XP SP2 advances in defending against phishing and malware but failed to go into any details. IE7 will also be included in Longhorn but its availability on other platforms remains unclear.

In a keynote address at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Gates singled out spyware and social engineering such as phishing and spyware attacks as the "fastest growing challenge".

"There's no exploit involved," he said. "Social engineering attacks take the privilege of a user and fool them into running code they don't want to run."

Microsoft has decided to make its Windows Anti-Spyware, released as a beta earlier this year and downloaded by 5m users, available at no extra charge to licensed Windows users, Gates announced. Microsoft also intends to introduce a consumer-focused anti-virus product by the end of the year.

Gates repeatedly highlighted information security as a "top priority" for Microsoft. "It's the one thing we need to make sure that we get absolutely right to deliver the digital revolution," he said. Microsoft is spending $2bn of its $6bn research and development budget on security.

Windows XP SP2 is a key building block in Microsoft's efforts to make its software more resistant to attack. More than 170m users have downloaded the product since its release late last year, Gates said. More users have applied the update after obtaining it on a CD. To make it easier for customers to apply patches, Microsoft intends to bring its separate Office and Windows Update services under one umbrella from March 2005. This service will be aimed at consumers and small businesses.

Gates appeared relaxed during his 45-minute keynote as RSA, even cracking a decent joke. He produced a spoofed version of doodles he made at the recent World Economic Forum, which were mistaken by a UK paper for the jottings of Prime Minister Tony Blair. The spoof notes contained remarks such as "Why does Bill Clinton sit next to Angelina Jolie?" "Need cheeseburger" (a reference perhaps to Gates' expanding waistline) and his "password". ®

Related stories

Gates parades Windows security advances
Stunned pundit agrees with Gates over passwords
Security is our biggest ever challenge Gates
Microsoft posts record 13 patches
MS mulls charging for anti-spyware app

RSA 2005

All the Reg stories from this year's conference

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI
A stranger turns up YOUR heat with default password 1234
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.