It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Microsoft Offers Secure Windows … But Only to the Government

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 1 2009 @ 10:31 PM
link   

It’s the most secure distribution version of Windows XP ever produced by Microsoft: More than 600 settings are locked down tight, and critical security patches can be installed in an average of 72 hours instead of 57 days. The only problem is, you have to join the Air Force to get it.


source

Apparently, the rest of us windoze (deliberate) users are secure enough...

It could be advantageous to release a version of the OS to the government and not to the public in terms of security. Hackers can't practice cracking software they can't get their hands on, although i doubt it will deter them that much.

Why the government doesn't switch to a Unix Kernel is beyond me. Its open source nature means it can be configured to be as secure as necessary, without having to ask and pay a company to implement the needed features. And, as stated, its FREE! It's a win-win but apparently the feds don't care.

TA




posted on May, 1 2009 @ 10:37 PM
link   
I guess they're selling a beefed up linux version with windows graphics now to the government eh?!

Just like MS, take something someone else created and turn it into your own. Welcome back to Silicon Valley!



posted on May, 1 2009 @ 10:40 PM
link   
reply to post by Estharik
 


It's definitely possible that they've recycled open source code. I wouldn't put it past them, but i do believe that Microsoft and its coders are egotistical enough to believe that their kung-foo is superior to that of the open source community.
Thanks for the reply, star for you.


TA



posted on May, 1 2009 @ 10:44 PM
link   
It would just be a windows gui around a linux kernel. Microsoft needs to just openly admit that their OS is fatally flawed. Simple solution for the government, but *nix based OS's in the first place and find some skilled people to use it.



posted on May, 1 2009 @ 10:52 PM
link   
Ha, how ironic, it's gonna take a three finger salute to reboot this country.
I'm sure this OS will still be packed with tons of undocumented features, aka Easter Eggs.
Probably already hacked by the Chinese.



posted on May, 1 2009 @ 11:03 PM
link   
reply to post by TheAssociate
 

I don't think Secure Windows can run a lot of applications, it'll have a lot of compatibility issues if run in the more mainstream environments.

It's not recommended for sensitive military system to use open source programs, it'll make things even worse than already is.



posted on May, 1 2009 @ 11:09 PM
link   
reply to post by Jazzyguy
 


I think 'secure windows' is a contradiction in terms. If they are using original MS code, this version will be about as easy to hack/crack/infect as all the other versions made thus far. Thanks for the replies, stars for you all.

TA



posted on May, 1 2009 @ 11:12 PM
link   
Have to point out the oxymoron here: "Microsoft Offers Secure Windows".

There is no such thing as "secure Windows" nor can Microsoft provide such a thing.



posted on May, 1 2009 @ 11:31 PM
link   
reply to post by TheAssociate
 


I agree with you and plucky that secure windows is not exactly secure.
I'm just saying that I don't think it would run well for common usage.

On everyone's defense I have to say though, that it's very difficult (and expensive) to create a good brand new OS (custom or not), let alone a secure one.

I'm not defending Microsoft in anyway, I'm a staunch proponent for open source systems (including open hardware standard). But I understand if the US military somehow chooses Microsoft. I don't think it's a wise move at all. If I recall correctly, Microsoft actually opens some of its source code to the chinese government.



posted on May, 1 2009 @ 11:35 PM
link   

Originally posted by Jazzyguy
reply to post by TheAssociate
 

I don't think Secure Windows can run a lot of applications, it'll have a lot of compatibility issues if run in the more mainstream environments.


Secure Windows?
Isn't that an oxymoron?



posted on May, 1 2009 @ 11:35 PM
link   
I searched and got a good link here.

Gates reveals Windows code to China


Microsoft on Friday signed a pact with the Chinese government to reveal the Windows source code, making China among the first to benefit from its program to allay the security fears of governments.

In addition, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates hinted that China will be privy to all, not just part, of the source code the government wishes to inspect.

The Chinese government and military have previously stated their preference for the rival Linux operating system because its source code is publicly available.

Without knowing the inner workings of an operating system--a fact revealed by its source code--governments like China fear that backdoors may be installed to leak sensitive information.



posted on May, 1 2009 @ 11:36 PM
link   
reply to post by Jazzyguy
 





If I recall correctly, Microsoft actually opens some of its source code to the chinese government.


That's a scary thought!

Our military hardware and vehicles are already full of Chinese microchips. If they have the any of the source code to the OS running any of these items, we may just be boned if we ever come to blows with the Chinese.


TA



posted on May, 1 2009 @ 11:38 PM
link   
I hate microsoft, and for good reason. I have suffered at the hands of their terrible OS my entire lifetime.

Thankfully there is Linux.

My Toshiba Labtop currently runs vista, came with it and windows genuine keeps failing, have to turn on and off and on and off the stupid licensing server, apparently it's from a driver update for my Nvidia card which now makes my computer appear different then the original... but this is a software not hardware update... even still...

I am denied access to my own PC thanks to some idiotic bug in Vista... I hate microsoft...

[edit on 1-5-2009 by YouAreDreaming]



posted on May, 2 2009 @ 12:42 AM
link   
reply to post by YouAreDreaming
 





I hate microsoft, and for good reason.


That, i can empathize with. I run Pro Tools in my studio and, unfortunately, the only options if one wishes to run Digidesign software/hardware are Windows and Mac. I refuse to pay the exorbitant amount of money apple demands for their *slightly* better OS, so i'm (through no choice of my own) a PC.

Linux is definitely better than the two above options in security and stability. I know that some parts of the government run Unix/Linux, but what i don't understand is why it isn't the OS used by all parts. Oh well...


TA



posted on May, 2 2009 @ 12:50 AM
link   
Sounds to me like it's just regular old windows with a "locked down" configuration. Nothing people haven't already been doing for years.

I'm pretty sure you can do this yourself by running the custom installation utility with a specific configuration.

See, the problem with the air force is that their IT dudes liked their job security and thought the task of forcing a standardized configuration for all current and future OS installations was too daunting a task and not until their bean counters realized just how much money the unsecured OS and their IT department's inability to close open doors in the system were costing them, did they go to the software manufacturer for a solution.

So, M$ goes..."well, we don't know about creating a whole NEW OS for your guys, but we can see about locking down some settings that might help".

No doubt some kind of consultation went on to find out what they did and didn't need and then everything else simply gets turned off or locked out.
From there, it greatly simplifies things and streamlines productivity.

With some reading, you can do the same with your own installation of windows.
I read about a dude who had his machine so locked down, he was doing everything through a single port(typically, there are thousands, or at least hundreds of available ports on an IP).

Do some googling for "windows optimization" and you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about.
Your cycles are getting robbed people. You don't need half the running services in a standard windows installation and all they do is potentially give yet another way for some malicious script kiddie to query your computer.

To use a dog training analogy, instead of learning how to get their dogs to behave, they went to the breeder and the breeder saw to it their dogs were all trained in the same way. Same dog...better behaved.

[edit on 2-5-2009 by 4N6310]



posted on May, 2 2009 @ 02:07 AM
link   
I have two laptops that both run Windows, which both seem to crash in sync. Thankfully I have another laptop that runs Linux, which I have never had a single problem with, and the OS was free. I have some ideas why a government agency would spend mega bucks to buy an obdviously inferior product.

1) Pre-existing contract
2) Software compatibility issues (Same as OP)
3) Lobbyists getting campaign donations

Still, seems like a big waste of money, especially with Windows 7 just around the corner, they'll be two generations behind. On a side note, I find this article amusing Quebec government sued for buying Microsoft software.



posted on May, 2 2009 @ 09:13 AM
link   
i dont know why they dont use UNIX... if you dont know the password you cannot do anything to the computer, and a multiple password database can be easily implemented if need-be on super tight computers. Such as having a database of passwords stored in a 256-bit hash file that has 5 passwords in it. Everytime you use one to log in, it doesnt work for atleast 12 hours, thus, if you log out, forcing you to use another one. something to that extent could easily be developed by/for the government.



posted on May, 2 2009 @ 05:54 PM
link   
Excellent points, oneinthesame and scghst1.

I'm sure there is some ulterior motive for using microsoft products. Otherwise, the bureaucratic nature of the government would dictate the use of the free alternative.



Everytime you use one to log in, it doesnt work for atleast 12 hours, thus, if you log out, forcing you to use another one. something to that extent could easily be developed by/for the government.


That's the great thing about open source software: you don't need to rely on another entities' developers to expand/upgrade/secure a piece of software. This is another reason i suspect that oneinthesame is correct about the ulterior motives theory: logic and budget considerations would generally dictate that using your own 'inside men' to develop security features would be the best way to go, but they still choose to go to a commercial developer.

Good thoughts, stars for both of you.


TA



posted on May, 2 2009 @ 05:57 PM
link   
reply to post by 4N6310
 




Sounds to me like it's just regular old windows with a "locked down" configuration. Nothing people haven't already been doing for years.


I'm sure microsoft didn't go to too much trouble to 'secure' this distribution. Odds are they did the least amount of necessary work to ensure that future upgrades would be required.

Good post, star for you.


TA



new topics

top topics



 
0

log in

join