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. identicon
    SLK8ne, 13 Nov 2010 @ 10:23pm

    Good points but....

    I can't speak to 7 or Vista (which I have limited experience with) but, I can speak to XP, 2000. The encrypted file system works, but, only if you deliberately encrypt a file. Any Linux live CD or UBCD4 Windows can cut right through the security of any file that is not deliberately encrypted and password protected.

    And I agree that no piece of software is absolutely secure, nor can it be. But, there seems to have been a deliberate calculated decision to leave the security holes open and to plug them after the OS goes to market. Microsoft products have been left vulnerable for many other explanations to make sense. Yes, no software can be made un-exploitable, but, the shear quantity of exploits against Microsoft software leads one to think that the beta testing for security has been somewhat lax.

    Further, I'd point out that most of the world's web servers run some flavor of Linux using Apache, and there has been relatively few exploits against these systems. Some yes. But, RELATIVELY few.

    I think Microsoft's biggest problems (historically speaking) are a) sloppy coding and b) as MikeLinPA pointed out, software bloat. Trying to do to much without taking time to look for security holes will always render software vulnerable.

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