Saturday

Windows 10S, Shockingly, Is Not Invulnerable

Microsoft Windows has the unenviable reputation as the operating system of choice if you want to distribute malware. Now, while Windows 10 is much more secure overall than Windows XP, the attraction for the bad guys is that Windows is really not very "locked down" environment. 

Windows main attraction is perhaps the vast amount of software that runs on it, which has historically also been it's downfall in terms of security. Windows software and freeware is readily available from myriad sources, and that can be a problem.

Apple iPhone users, for example, are generally limited to apps that are in the Apple Store, and Apple keeps a rather tight lid on that. Microsoft has the Windows Store, too, but Windows 10 Home and Pro can still use software from other sources (and the range of Apps currently available in the Windows Store are pretty skimpy anyway.)

In an effort to address this, Windows 10S - the recently announced version - is much more of a "locked down" operating system - a'la Google's Chrome OS. It can ONLY install apps from the Windows Store, and users essentially have no access to the command prompt or other "system areas" of the operating system.

The hope is that as Windows 10S usage picks up, developers will write more apps for the Windows Store to work with it, giving users a good selection of screened and safe software to work with. 

Unfortunately for Microsoft, they recently chose to boast that "no known ransomware" would run on Windows 10S. This display of doubtful hubris was rather quickly met by (you guessed it) a successful hack of Windows 10S as detailed in this ZDNET article.

Why do companies shoot themselves in the foot like that? Pretty much anything s hackable, given time and persistence. Is Windows 10S less prone to malware infections - yes, by the very nature of the way it is designed to be used. But it's not magical, and making bold claims that are quickly squashed does not help getting people to adopt the new OS.

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