Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Is Microsoft Sexist?

Take the title with a grain of salt.

While doing some research today, I found this forum topic discussing security and started with an article from Microsoft.

Under the topic heading Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it's not your computer anymore Microsoft says this:

It's an unfortunate fact of computer science: when a computer program runs, it will do what it's programmed to do, even if it's programmed to be harmful. When you choose to run a program, you are making a decision to turn over control of your computer to it. Once a program is running, it can do anything, up to the limits of what you yourself can do on the machine. It could monitor your keystrokes and send them to a web site. It could open every document on the machine, and change the word "will" to "won't" in all of them. It could send rude emails to all your friends. It could install a virus. It could create a "back door" that lets someone remotely control your machine. It could dial up an ISP in Katmandu. Or it could just reformat your hard drive.
That's why it's important to never run, or even download, a program from an untrusted source – and by "source", I mean the person who wrote it, not the person who gave it to you. There's a nice analogy between running a program and eating a sandwich. If a stranger walked up to you and handed you a sandwich, would you eat it? Probably not. How about if your best friend gave you a sandwich? Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't – it depends on whether she made it or found it lying in the street. Apply the same critical thought to a program that you would to a sandwich, and you'll usually be safe.

However, this is what really stood out for me:

How about if your best friend gave you a sandwich? Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't – it depends on whether she made it or found it lying in the street.

Not that I condone sexism, it just made me laugh that only a female friend would be giving me a sandwich.

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