Microsoft's glasnost on interoperability means more bugs, more exploits

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| Microsoft's decision last week to let everyone snoop through its software
| secrets means vulnerabilities and exploits will almost certainly climb in the
| short term, security researchers said today.

It might get harder for the monopolist to fool everyone by patching secretly
for dishonest vanity purposes (links below), if patch things _at all_ (or find


Vista SP1 will contain undocumented fixes

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| Interesting email in today mailbag: *“Will SP1 contain undisclosed or
| undocumented security fixes?”
| For some people, counting the number of security flaws that one OS has
| compared to another is important because it offers a metric upon which to *
| determine which OS is the most secure (personally, I feel that it’s a bogus
| metric, but I’ll let it slide for now). *However, many claim that Microsoft
| stacks the deck in its favor by not disclosing a full list of vulnerabilities
| that have been patched by omitting to include those discovered and patched
| in-house. * * *

Critical Vulnerability in Microsoft Metrics

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| This is a small subset of all the vulnerabilities, because the
| vulnerabilities that are found through the QA process and the vulnerabilities
| that are found by the security folks they engage as contractors to perform
| penetration testing are fixed in service packs and major updates. For
| Microsoft this makes sense because these fixes get the benefit of a full test
| pass which is much more robust for a service pack or major release than it is
| for a security update. * * *

Skeletons in Microsoft’s Patch Day closet

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| This is the first time I’ve seen Microsoft prominently admit to silently
| fixing vulnerabilities in its bulletins — a controversial practice that
| effectively reduces the number of publicly documented bug fixes (for those
| keeping count) and affects patch management/deployment decisions. *

Beware of undisclosed Microsoft patches

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| Forget for a moment whether Microsoft is throwing off patch counts
| that Microsoft brass use to compare its security record with those
| of its competitors. What do you think of Redmond’s silent patching
| practice?

Microsoft is Counting Bugs Again

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| Sorry, but Microsoft's self-evaluating security counting isn't really a
| good accounting.
| [...]
| The point: Don't count on security flaw counting. The real flaw is
| the counting.