My Dad's computer, Microsoft, and the future of Internet security.

Bill Cheswick

My Dad runs a standard Windows XP computer on recent hardware. Despite our frequent efforts, this machine is often infected with a great deal of malware. This is not my Dad’s fault. Millions of people are routinely running dangerous software, and often don’t understand the downside of a badly-infected computer.

In Feb 2001 Bill Gates committed Microsoft to improving the security of their software. There are indications that Microsoft is trying very hard to improve their security, and the recently-released Service Pack 2 is a good step towards cleaning their Augean stables. How far have they gone, and what are the prospects for my Dad’s computing environment and improved security of corporate and government intranets?

How is Internet security faring in general? I am optimistic that many of our current problems will subside to a more manageable level, but it will take many years.

Speaker Biography

Ches has been out and about in the Internet security field since the late 1980s. He is known for his early work in firewalls and proxies, and for the book he has co-authored with Steve Bellovin and now Avi Rubin. In summer 2000 Ches helped spin off the Internet cartography work he did at Bell Labs with Hal Burch into a startup, Lumeta Corporation, which explores the extent and perimeter hosts of corporate and government intranets.