Is Vista Secure?

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bill Gates claimed that Vista was “dramatically more secure” during an interview with BBC News. He said the improved security in Vista was a reason all by itself to upgrade from Windows XP. Is the claim valid?

Vista exploits and vulnerabilities are starting to turn up on discussion boards where such things are traded and developed. Academics are also publishing papers on weaknesses in the security technologies inside Vista. A casual search in bugtraq reveals tons of discussion going on over Vista vulnerabilities.

“It’s dramatically more secure than, say, Windows 3.x, Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP,” said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure.

“However, it’s fundamentally not more secure than operating systems like FreeBSD, QNX, AS/400 etc,” he said. I would add secure Linux or even plain old Linux to that mix.

“I would claim it’s not even as secure as another operating system from Microsoft; namely the operating system inside the Xbox 360.” via BBC

One of the emphasis of Vista is that the system ask users to give permission for programs, browser extensions and many other things to be installed. The sheer number of times that people are asked, without providing them with any contextual information to make a proper decision, may make them click past the warning without realising what they were doing.

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