Article: Windows AntiPiracy Scheme Hits Iceburg

by Brian J. Gillette

It took one day. On Thursday, Microsoft announced that, henceforth, you couldn't get Windows updates without a check to make sure your Windows software was properly registered. On Friday, the first hack showed up on boingboing.

Other hacks of Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) followed quickly.

One admin reports that he was unable to get WindowsUpdate to work with a registered system till he disabled the WGA addin in Internet Explorer.

So what does this have to do with email security?

Plenty. If Microsoft can't protect itself, do you really think it can protect you? While you absolutely need firewalls and antivirus software on every Microsoft Windowsbased workstation and server, it's not enough.

Make sure the sentinels at your network border... routers, gateways, antispam appliances and other proxies... are definitively nonWindows devices.

Virtually any nonWindows product will add a level of protection to a Windows network that it otherwise doesn't enjoy.

As to the future of WGA... many greybeards who were microcomputing at Microsoft's genesis find its antipiracy crusade to be sadly disingenuous.

About the Author

Brian J. Gillette is the editor of trimMail's Email Battles, a daily newsletter that covers the most interesting news from the front lines of the spam wars: spam, security, privacy, viruses and phishing.

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