Critical vulnerabilities or a clever marketing ploy?

Microsoft released updates for critical vulnerabilities in Windows (2000, XP and 2003). This includes fixes for three vulnerabilities that “criminal hackers are already exploiting” according to Brian Krebs.

The patches fix vulnerabilities which can allow remote code execution (it doesn’t come much worse than that!).

Microsoft critical security updates

Personally, I think they are trying to scare people into upgrading to Vista 😉

Let the conspiracy theories commence…

7 thoughts on “Critical vulnerabilities or a clever marketing ploy?”

  1. Since Vista will not be “broadly available” until January 30th, I do not believe that spreading fear now would be a wise business choice, since there will be nothing for frightened users to do, other than continue to update XP or switch to Mac or Linux, until January 30th.

  2. Microsoft has been releasing monthly patches for vulnerabilities of their products for years now. The ease of installing/patching a running system is highly appreciated by end-users.
    Are you saying that releasing patches would scare people to use Windows Vista in a couple of weeks? If so, this would mean that you should be scared of using the latest version of Macromedia Flash because Adobe issued a patch for a security flaw. This would also mean no-one should be bying iPod’s anymore because of some of them contained a virus?
    Take a look at the Apple MacOS X http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61798 security updates list. I doubt switching to Mac is a solution for fixing security issues!

  3. Oops – forgot the emoticon – post updated now!

    David, thanks for dropping by and commenting. I know Microsoft have been updating for years. I maintain Windows servers for clients and most of my previous work life has been in development on the Windows platform so I am all too familiar with this!

    Having said that, OS X is, far more secure than any Windows system currently on the market. Sure it has vulnerabilities too, but because of the access that users and apps have to the system, there is little scope for damage to be done. The same is not true for Windows.

    It remains to be seen if Vista is as secure as OS X but there is no argument that OS X is more secure than XP, 2003, 2000, etc.

  4. The point could be made that OS X is more secure than Windows, not only because of its BSD underpinnings, but also because as it’s more obscure (and tied to relatively expensive hardware) there’s a smaller surface area for attacks. 🙂

  5. Yes that argument could be made Derek – it wouldn’t stand close scrutiny, but it could be made.

    For instance, Windows has only 31% of the web server market, and yet it has the vast majority of the critical vulnerabilities.

    Why? Windows is not secure by design where Unix based systems are.

  6. Well let’s see what happens if OS X becomes more popular thanks to the transition to Intel processors. The Mac also benefits from a far, far simpler and smaller ecosystem than Windows has to support.

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