As the Blaster worm and the Sobig.F virus continue to wreak havoc on the Windows world, the Mac and Linux worlds have barely noticed, and according to an article at the Washington Post by Rob Pegoraro, itis no coincidence. The author likens a Windows XP PC on the Internet to a car parked in the bad part of town with the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition. The article goes on to look at a few of the reasons Windows is such an insecure platform, including the notion that it is insecure by design. From the Washington Post:
Security starts with closing doors that donit need to be open. On a PC, these doors are called "ports" -- channels to the Internet reserved for specific tasks, such as publishing a Web page.
These ports are what network worms like Blaster crawl in through, exploiting bugs in an operating system to implant themselves. (Viruses canit move on their own and need other mechanisms, such as e-mail or floppy disks, to spread.) Itis canonical among security experts that unneeded ports should be closed.
Windows XP Home Edition, however, ships with five ports open, behind which run "services" that serve no purpose except on a computer network.
You can read the full article at the Washington Postis Web site.