Microsoft: More Security Excitement

April 15, 2019

I read “Microsoft Informs Hackers Had Accessed Some Outlook Account Emails for Months.” The write up reports:

Microsoft has revealed that a hacker had access to the email addresses, folder names, and subject lines of emails, but not the content of emails or attachments of the Outlook users for three months.

That’s 90 days. Windows Defender was, I assume, on the job. The good news is that the bad actor was not able to read emails. The hacker wasn’t able “to steal login details of other personal information.” That’s good news too. Plus, Microsoft has “disabled the credentials used in the hack.”

Whoa, Nellie.

Windows Defender and presumably one or more of the companies offering super smart, super capable security services were protecting the company. I am besieged each week with requests to read white papers, participate in webinars, and get demonstrations of one of the hundreds of cyber security systems available today. These range from outfits which have former NSA, FBI, and CIA specialists monitoring their clients’ systems to companies that offer systems based on tireless artificially intelligence, proactive, predictive technology. Humans get involved only when the super system sends an alert. The idea is that every possible approach to security is available.

Microsoft can probably afford several systems and can use its own crack programmers to keep the company safe. Well, one caveat is that the programmers working on Windows 10 updates are probably not likely to be given responsibility for mission critical Microsoft security. Windows 10 updates are often of questionable quality.

A handful of questions occur to me:

  1. Perhaps Microsoft’s security expertise is not particularly good. Maybe on a par with the Windows 10 October 2018 update?
  2. Maybe Windows Defender cannot defend?
  3. Perhaps the over hyped, super capable cyber security systems do not work either?

Net net: With many well funded companies offering cyber security and big outfits entrusted by their customers with their data, are the emperors going to their yoga classes naked? Ugh. Horrible thought, but it may be accurate. At least put on some stretchy pants, please.

Stephen E Arnold, April 15, 2019

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