Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Microsoft Not a Threat to US National Security

Microsoft's dominance of the desktop operating system market isn't a threat to U.S. national security, according to a new study by a team of researchers at the George Mason University, who said a worm or other malicious attack on Windows is unlikely to produce a catastrophic failure of the Internet.

The report is based on advanced network simulations by George Mason's Infrastructure Mapping Project. While it focuses on proprietary monopolies held by Microsoft on the desktop and Cisco in the router market, the study also suggests the growing importance of the security of open source products.

The findings contrast with those of a paper released last year by the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Cyberinsecurity: The Cost of Monopoly, which warned that "the identicality and flaw density in the Microsoft Windows monoculture present clear dangers to national security." The paper stirred controversy when one of its authors, Dan Geer, was fired as CTO of @stake, which does business with Microsoft.

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