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Mark Burnett

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Rats in the security world

Not too long ago my wife and I decided to try out a Chinese restaurant in our area we had never visited before. I was looking at the menu and my wife gasped, then laughed a bit. I looked up and she pointed out a rat crawling right under the restaurant's buffet table. I got the waitress's attention and pointed out the rat to her …
Mark Burnett, 01 Jul 2005
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Windows 2000: Microsoft's most successful failure

Comment Someone once asked Pable Picasso which one of his many paintings was his favorite. His reply: the next one. Ask Steve Ballmer which version of Windows is the most secure and guess what his answer will be? I noticed that Microsoft is ready to release Security Rollup 5 for Windows 2000. It's not a service pack, it's more of a …
Mark Burnett, 07 Jun 2005
globalisation

Windows file permissions: more is less

I have a funny story. A while back I was showing my son the cool speech recognition features in Microsoft Word. I got out my laptop, went through the configuration and training process by dictating into the microphone. My son, twelve, could barely hold back the laughter as he listened to me read to my computer various excerpts …
Mark Burnett, 20 May 2005
channel

Security for the paranoid

Comment Paranoia is the key to success in the security world. Is it time to worry when other security professionals consider you too paranoid? "You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write F*** you …
Mark Burnett, 27 Apr 2005
channel

Where, oh where, is my Windows firewall?

I have a problem: I can't seem to find a good host-based firewall for my Windows servers. In fact, people constantly ask me what I recommend and I find myself with no good answer. Even though most of my servers are already behind firewalls, I like having additional protection on the server itself. Sometimes I use remotely co- …
Mark Burnett, 18 Mar 2005
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MS and security: good effort but no cigar

Last week I watched the webcast of Bill Gates speaking at the RSA conference in San Francisco. He talked about Microsoft's plans to build upon the progress it's already made in security. These plans included better protection against spyware and spam. Gates also announced Microsoft's intention to release Internet Explorer 7, …
Mark Burnett, 23 Feb 2005
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Windows authentication: reasonable and gentle

Analysis Microsoft recently announced its latest ploy to extort more money from the public and further strengthen their software monopoly: they want to make you pay for a legal copy of Windows before you get any OS add-on features or updates. To make matters worse, they are even extending this restriction to security updates, potentially …
Mark Burnett, 02 Feb 2005
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Stamping Passport

Column Online auction house eBay recently announced that it would discontinue support for Microsoft's Passport authentication service, touching off lively discussions on Slashdot and other forums where anti-Microsoft sentiment runs strong. Passport has long been plagued with criticism and concerns over privacy and security, and for …
Mark Burnett, 10 Jan 2005
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Security holes that run deep

A couple of months ago, Toby Beaumont reported an ASP.NET vulnerability that, depending on the server configuration, allowed anyone to completely bypass user authentication and access protected files. Microsoft quickly provided a fix and the issue passed without much fanfare, mostly because the flaw wasn't widely exploited, and …
Mark Burnett, 21 Dec 2004
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Is Microsoft creating tomorrow's IE security holes today?

Opinion Internet Explorer's problems can be traced to Microsoft's shortsightedness during the browser wars of the 1990s. Is the company sowing tomorrow's security woes today? One day early last summer, I looked out my window and saw my neighbor planting a seedling just two feet from the side of his house. I knew that decades from now …
Mark Burnett, 29 Nov 2004