Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
antitrust, security

microsoft, trend micro

Once Again, Security Company Suggests Microsoft Making Its Own Software Secure Is An Antitrust Violation

from the rock-and-a-hard-place dept

For many years, we've pointed out that Microsoft is in a bit of a rock and a hard place when it comes to security software. The company more or less created an entire outside industry in having its software be so incredibly insecure that various other firms had to step up to secure it. But, that puts Microsoft in a really tough position. Does it fix its own security flaws... or is doing so a way to abuse its market position to put the security firms out of business? It's hard to see how that latter position makes much sense to anyone other than those who work for the security companies, but they continue to make those claims. The latest is from Trend Micro, who is complaining that Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is an antitrust violation. The article linked here notes that this is even more ridiculous than you might expect, in that MSE is an optional download. Either way, it seems like a pretty huge stretch to claim that fixing your own security holes could possibly be an antitrust violation. The real problem may be that Trend Micro jumped into a business that relied on another company continuing to suck.

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  1. icon
    interval (profile), 12 Nov 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re: I'm lost...

    You have several interesting & valid points, the plain fact of the matter is that in between the market manipulation and the anti-trust issues there is some genuine innovation that happens at Microsoft; Surface and the F# language are two examples. But when you come from a Unix/Linux background to the Microsoft world, and examine Windows and the like under the covers, some very strange architectural choices come to light, and many of those strange choices are in the security layer of the file system, as a negative example. NTFS has a very complicated and cryptic file protection scheme compared to permissions on a Unix file system. They've made some pretty frankly strange decisions in that arena and that cuts right to the heart of the matter. Also, in making their systems easy to use the decision default " on " all services and subsystems was a pretty bad one. Each and every service on a windows PC is a possible attack vector for malicious 'sploiter to 'sploit. Linux certainly has its own share of problems, the X display system is full of security concerns, for their bad example. But basic security is part of the Unix family, not an afterthought or a "feature".

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