Last Friday, Ina Fried detailed an interesting report from blogger Long Zheng, who "is drawing attention to an apparent shortcoming" in Microsoft's desire to make Windows 7 less annoying.
According to the report, Zheng believes that because Windows 7's User Account Control isn't as annoying as it was in Windows Vista, Microsoft is leaving its users open to more threats by third parties trying to exploit vulnerabilities. Zheng contends that due to changes in UAC, "malicious code could turn off alerts entirely with the user getting little notice that such a change had been made."
Zheng said in a blog post that he and a fellow blogger, Rafael Rivera, have designed a proof-of-concept code to prove his theory. He believes, "at a minimum, that Microsoft's default setting (should) also warn users if a change is being made to UAC itself."
In Windows Vista, a UAC prompt popped up each time any major change was made to the system. Some users found that annoying. Realizing that, Microsoft decided that in Windows 7, users would be able to decide how often they want to be notified. The default setting in the beta release of the OS only notifies users when a third-party application is making a change.
It should be noted that Zheng's contention is based on the Windows 7 beta, which means practically nothing until the final build hits store shelves. Microsoft can change that setting at any time and make this issue go away. More importantly, it can be changed by the administrator, so the issue, while present, shouldn't be blown out of proportion.
But it's because of that setting that Windows 7 is less annoying. But should we accept annoyance anyway, if it means more security? I think we should.… Read more