CCIA: Microsoft Software Monoculture A Detriment To Security

Relying on a single technology such as Microsoft Windows to run a majority of systems could threaten US infrastructure and the economy, according to the Computer and Communications Industry Association, as reported by C|Net. The group also warns that planned security updates could also help lock customers in to Microsoft-based systems. Members of the group include AOL, Yahoo, Verizon, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Nortel Networks, among others. The group has fought the Department of Homeland Securityis use of Microsoft systems, and formed the Open Source And Industry Alliance to fight the DMCA and promote open-source software. From C|Net:

The paper, written by a handful of security experts, also warns that many security improvements planned by Microsoft are likely designed to raise the barrier that deters customers from switching to another operating system.

"Under the guise of security, (Microsoft is) achieving lock-in," said Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer for network monitoring service Counterpane Internet Security and one of the paperis three authors. "Itis using security technologies to extend the monopolies."

The report will be presented Wednesday to several key lawmakers and administration officials at the CCIAis 2003 Washington Caucus, according to the eventis agenda. Another of the paperis authors, Dan Geer, chief technology officer for security firm @Stake, is scheduled to lead a discussion of the issues. Several members of Congress are slated to attend the event, including Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

The paper is the latest salvo fired by the CCIA at Microsoft. And although the argument has been made in security circles before, this may be the first time that the position has been outlined to legislators.

You can read the full article at C|Netis Web site.

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