PACKET RAT

It came as no surprise to the Rat that there's yet another big security problem with Microsoft Windows. Considering how many patches he's had to apply to Windows 2000 on his agency servers over the last year, he'd be surprised if a new Windows problem didn't rear its ugly head at least every other month.

It came as no surprise to the Rat that there's yet another big security problem with Microsoft Windows. Considering how many patches he's had to apply to Windows 2000 on his agency servers over the last year, he'd be surprised if a new Windows problem didn't rear its ugly head at least every other month.The latest gaffe, in the allegedly bulletproof Windows XP, was a doozy. Software hooks for UPnP, otherwise known as Universal Plug and Play, left the operating system wide open to hijacker control.'Anything with a contraction in its acronym is best avoided anyhow,' sneered the cyberrodent.Fortunately, at least the portions of the agency networks under his technological dominion were unaffected'because he refuses to let XP in the door.The wired one's ironclad systems standardization process includes punitive disk wipes of systems with unapproved OSes or software. That has succeeded in crushing resistance from the techie-wanna-bes who've tried sliding the OS in under his radar. And the incompleteness of XP system testing has squelched complaints from his superiors'that, and the fact that the Rat keeps coming up with better things to spend the IT budget on.'XP stands for 'extra putrid' as far as I'm concerned,' the Rat explained to his department head recently. 'Not on my watch, not on my ship, not in my agency.'Likewise, he has successfully resisted Windows 98 and Windows Me, which are also vulnerable to the attack. Of course his resistance there mostly came from having to pay for bug patches disguised as upgrades.So far, his judgment has been validated by events. The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center has recommended disabling UPnP rather than applying the patch Microsoft cooked up last month.The whiskered one has decided to freeze the upgrades of his PC population at Windows 2000 Professional, figuring that Microsoft is a few years ahead on killing all the bugs in that OS.With the Microsoft antitrust settlement stalled for the moment'though parliamentary maneuvers by Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.) apparently stopped any potential Senate comment from affecting the Justice Department's position'the wirebiter has been feeling even more intransigent.'Here's the real threat of the OS monopoly,' he griped to his minions after getting word of the latest bug. 'Microsoft doesn't feel compelled to actually ship out tested and working software. When it can go through the motions of building an entirely new operating system every few years and then put the screws on users to upgrade, who needs to do any actual software engineering, anyway?'The furry one's minions dared not contest his point of view when he was clearly in the zone. Besides, they were all running Linux on their desktop PCs and Mac OS X at home, so they weren't about to argue.Geeks don't let geeks do Windows.

R. Fink



























The Packet Rat once managed networks but now spends his time ferreting out bad packets in cyberspace. E-mail him at rat@postnewsweektech.com.

NEXT STORY: CRYPTOGRAM

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.