Antivirus Software and Microsoft Windows Vulnerabilities
Microsoft Windows is by far the most popular computer operating system and given its ease of use and intuitive interface this is hardly surprising.
Despite the fact that Windows has been around since 1985 and numerous versions and updates have been released, the software has some security
vulnerabilities that make it susceptible to infection by worms and viruses. The creators of these worms explicitly target these vulnerabilities in order
spread their malicious software code which can enable them to take control of computers in people's homes, government and military organisations,
educational establishments, and industry.
A recent example of how this operates dates back to October 2008. Back then it was usual for Windows to issue security updates for its operating
system on a monthly basis, but on one particular occasion in October 2008 it released an update two weeks earlier than was scheduled. This alerted
suspicions in a number of computer security experts as to why this update had been released so soon after the previous one. Microsoft announced
that this unscheduled update was to fix a particular vulnerability in a port that might in Microsoft speak be used to create a â€˜wormable exploit'.
If everyone running this operating system had installed this security patch in a timely manner, what was to follow might have been avoided, but of
course not everybody did. Within days hundreds of thousands of computers had become infected with one of the most potentially dangerous of
computer worms ever created, the Conficker worm. Within weeks this number had grown to millions of computers.
Nobody yet knows what the ultimate impact of Conficker will be, but already it has carried out a great deal of mischief. Millions of computers have been
turned into zombies and, unknown by their owners, these computer are currently sending out spam email to countless recipients.
There is no longer any excuse not to be running antivirus software on your computer. The latest ver