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From: shage at (Shane C. Hage)
Subject: Support the Sasser-author fund started


I agree with most of your statements below.  However, with competing
operating systems such as those you mentioned below plus OS/2 and Apple
Macintosh in the 1980's, the business leaders and consumers chose Windows.

I think people forget that Microsoft must have filled a gap that these other
operating systems didn't.  How can we blame Microsoft for capitalizing on
the need at the time?

When the Internet revolution started, there was no way to predict the
magnitude that a malicious program could have across the world.  Sure,
Microsoft is playing catch-up with security.  They are just filling the gap
in their own products now.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bill Royds" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, May 16, 2004 10:51 PM
Subject: RE: [Full-Disclosure] Support the Sasser-author fund started

> The real problem is the MS Operating Systems are toys that are trying to
> grow up. They still have code and design decisions that were part of the
> operating systems of the early 80's.
> All the features required of mature operating systems were added as an
> afterthought and not designed in. Such things as memory management and
> access control have been grafted on a single user/single
> OS. To maintain backward compatibility with DOS and Windows 95, key OS
> structures have many assumptions about things like buffer size that lead
> buffer overflows. Witness the assumption about machine names that led to
> Slammer. The whole Microsoft OS effort has been to grow from a system
> designed for minimal size machines such as the 640K PC to something that
> be used as a system for commerce. Features have been bolted on as they are
> deemed sellable to make a profit. It wasn't until NT that the file system
> even had the concept of access control and backward compatibility has
> that the default ACL is give everyone full control.
>   Unix, by contrast, has always been designed as a
> system so things like file security and separation of processes are
> inherent. The Unix security model is actually much simpler than the NT
> so Unix/Linux users are able to apply it. The NT one, despite its great
> power and flexibility, creates such complexity that most administrators
> up and drop real security because they are not sure of the consequences of
> strong security.  This complexity in the security model leads to
> in the code that implements it, so things like LSASS.EXE need to be
> complicated (and therefore buggy) to implement it. The whole patchwork
> is Active-X/COM/COM+/OLE/DLL etc. is a sign that  they don't have an
> overarching design and just try to add new systems to add to flawed
> rather than biting the bullet and fixing their mistakes.
>   Unix has a consistency in design (single hierarchy for files and
> separation of files from their names etc.) that shows its elegant
> Microsoft OS show that design by sales droid that leads to a real
>   True professional systems run using non-Microsoft OS, like Solaris and
> other Unix, MVS, VMS, QNX.
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of
> Sent: May 16, 2004 3:19 PM
> To: Seth Alan Woolley
> Cc: Shane C. Hage; Georgi Guninski; Tobias Weisserth;
> Subject: Re: [Full-Disclosure] Support the Sasser-author fund started
> Seth Alan Woolley wrote:
> > On Sat, May 15, 2004 at 08:31:25PM -0400, Shane C. Hage wrote:
> >
> >>Why should Microsoft have more blame?
> >>
> >>In my opinion, I believe that software companies, especially Microsoft,
> have
> >>taken all of the appropriate steps to provide security within their
> >>products.
> >
> >
> > Keep your head in the sand, then.  The design from the very beginning
> > was put together without security in mind.  Their OS revolutionized the
> > anti-virus industry.  There are numerous alternative operating systems
> > and cases where worms and viruses have been created for them (cf. the
> > Morris worm, slapper, etc), and most of the bandwidth in the world sits
> > on non-Microsoft software, mind you.
> Isn't that more of a very gray area?
> Yes, MS operating systems weren't really designed with security in mind
> until (IMO) NT4, and then- that security wasn't really pushed to the
> consumer until Win2k- but- that was *5 years ago* that it was.
> Win2k and WinXP aren't that different from OSX or most popular Linux
> distros from the "number of network servers enabled" perspective-
> The MS operating systems are the main source of problems for really only
> 2 reasons:
> 1) their popularity makes them the most valuable targets
> 2) people don't update
> All of us on this list know that if all consumers ran auto-update
> properly and had it install stuff automatically, these worms would
> become very rare occurences. (while admittedly creating an interesting
> new set of problems)
> I don't really see what more MS can be expected to do, short of shoving
> auto-update down everyone's throats whether they like it or not (which
> will bring the tinfoil-hat crowd out in force)
> It is very seldom that a worm is out before the fix for the exploited
> vulnerability- it's just a matter of diligence.
> Also- your argument of "most of the bandwidth in the world sits
> on non-Microsoft software" is IMO invalid- these machines that you speak
> of are not operated by consumers- people are paid to keep them updated
> and secure.
> -- 
> RIP Red-Boy - 1998-2004 - "jupiter accepts your offer"
> _______________________________________________
> Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.
> Charter:
> _______________________________________________
> Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.
> Charter:

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