The Window of Opportunity Remains Wide Open

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-10-28 Print this article Print

6. We don't know Windows 7

Microsoft might claim that Windows 7 is the most secure operating system to date, but in the end, we just don't know. It has only been in the wild for six days. Malicious users are just starting to get used to the new operating system. Once they find potential holes in the operating system, they will start launching attacks. Only then will we know how vulnerable Windows really is.

7. There's no threat

The average malicious hacker just isn't worried about the ramifications of releasing another Conficker-like worm. Have we caught the bad guys in the past? Sure. But the vast majority of hackers are free to wreak havoc on Windows computers, never worrying about being caught. Microsoft offered a $250,000 reward to the person who caught the hackers behind Conficker. It has yet to pay out. Until we catch the hackers and bring them to justice, there's little chance they'll think twice about exploiting users.

8. Software problems are intensifying

There are more security threats impacting the Windows ecosystem than ever before. But it's not just Windows that bears the blame. Many of the applications users are running on their computers are also contributing to the issue. Secure software isn't necessarily finding its way to computers today. That gives malware distributors countless opportunities to find unique ways to impact millions.

9. How have things really changed?

When we consider the Conficker outbreak and the response to it, I'm hard-pressed to find ways in which our ability to confront such a threat has changed. Microsoft and the security community might have been more proactive with Conficker than it was in the past, but nothing groundbreaking has emerged from the incident. It's difficult to say that we really learned from Conficker and we've taken concrete measures to ensure it doesn't happen again.

10. There's no shortage of malicious hackers

As much as I'd like to say that the number of people trying to exploit others is small, it's really not. There are folks all over the world who are constantly trying to find ways to create a Conficker-like outbreak. Many fail. But until we find a way to stay ahead of those people, rather than wait for them to strike, at least some will succeed. And that is simply unacceptable.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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