Dan Geer: global software security at risk

Monday, 16 February 2004, 4:52 PM EST

Dan Geer lost his job but gained his audience. The very idea that got the computer-security expert fired has sparked serious debate in information technology.

The idea, borrowed from biology, is that Microsoft has nurtured a software "monoculture" that threatens global computer security.

Geer and others believe Microsoft's software is so dangerously pervasive that a virus capable of exploiting even a single flaw in its operating systems could wreak havoc.

Just this past week, Microsoft warned customers about security problems that independent experts called among the most serious yet disclosed. Network administrators could only hope users would download the latest patch.

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