Microsoft leaves 98 to the hackers

Microsoft has defended its decision not to patch a critical security flaw in Windows 98.

Support for the operating system officially ends next month on July 12.

The vulnerability exists in Windows Explorer and the way it handles Component Object Model objects, whereby a malicious Web site could force a connection to a remote server where Explorer could fail, executing arbitrary code and giving the attacker complete control of the OS.

Patches correcting the flaw were issued for Windows 2000, XP and Windows Server 2003, but the vulnerability remains unpatched on Windows 98.

Christopher Budd, Microsoft Response Centre security program manager, said the upgrades to Explorer's architecture since Windows 2000 has left 98 behind and applying fundamental changes could jeopardize program compatibility.

"Due to these fundamental differences, these changes would require re-engineering a significant amount of a critical core component of the operating system," Budd said.

"After such a re-engineering effort, there would be no assurance that applications designed to run on these platforms would continue to operate on the updated system."

"After extensive investigation, Microsoft has found that it is not feasible to make the extensive changes necessary...to eliminate the vulnerability," it states.

Microsoft can't do it or won't do it? E-mails to darren_pauli@idg.com.au

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Darren Pauli

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?