Another worm reinforces user carelessness

— 5:49 AM on August 13, 2003

The mainstream media is all over the MSBlaster worm, which seems to be spreading nicely across the web. MSBlaster exploits a vulnerability in Windows 2000/XP that Microsoft issued a fix for over a month ago, but as you might expect, many users haven't patched their systems.

Microsoft has been working to make security patches easier for users to apply, and I think Windows Update does a pretty good job when configured properly. However, this article over at Wired points out that some worms are being passed off as patches from Microsoft.

To protect users from their own carelessness, I wonder if it might be appropriate for Microsoft to offer a more idiot-proof Windows configuration option. An idiot-proof configuration would run a firewall and virus scanner by default, apply Windows Update security patches daily, and make opening email attachments all but impossible. Of course, such a configuration shouldn't be a Windows default, but it might go a long way towards protecting users from themselves.

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