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Dennis Durkin  (Source:
Microsoft says it isn't taking advantage of Sony's poor position, but is doing everything it can to up its security

Internet security has become one of the largest web-related concerns now that 2011 has been riddled with major corporate and government hacks. Since January 4, hacker groups like LulzSec (Lulz Security), Anonymous and Goatse Security have attacked Gmail accounts, Bank of America, Lockheed Martin Corp., and government sectors in the United States, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and Spain. 

The gaming community was not safe, either. On April 20, Sony's largest international databases -- the PlayStation Network (PSN) and the Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) databases -- went offline due to a massive security breach that compromised the personal information of millions of users. Sony announced the breach on April 26, and admitted that millions of customers' credit card numbers were stolen and put up for sale on the internet as well. This led to several PS3 returns around the world in exchange for Xbox 360's. 

Even though Sony has fully restored PSN worldwide, the entire experience has made some gamers uneasy about sharing their personal information again. According to Dennis Durkin, COO and CFO of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), what happened to Sony's PSN was tragic, and even though the situation spurred PS3 returns for Xbox 360's, Microsoft did not look at the experience as a way of obtaining personal gain.

"It's bad for the industry that this has happened to Sony," said Durkin in an interview with IndustryGamers. "It's very damaging. So we don't wish that upon anybody and you've seen we've been actually pretty quiet on the subject because we don't want to appear to even be looking to be taking advantage of somebody else's situation like that. That's just not in our DNA."

While Microsoft sympathizes with Sony's position, it also wants to let Xbox Live users and Microsoft users in general know that the company is doing all it can to protect user's security

"Over time, all of the bets Microsoft is making are about cloud bets," said Durkin. "We want customers to feel confident about the quality of service they're getting, the reliability they're getting, the security of the data that they have and the security of the private information that they have. As a company, you can look back eight, nine years ago, when Bill Gates wrote his Trustworthy Computing Memo that basically said, 'We need to change the way we architect our products and it has to be designed into the way we architect our products and services.' So it's in our DNA, across the company. This is not just an IEB thing."

Durkin also warned that customers need to learn from the PSN experience and take preventative measures to insure their security as well, such as monitoring passwords and making sure they're different across all websites.

The bottom line for Microsoft, of course, is that it's working to keep its online services like Xbox Live safe for users, and that Sony's recent mishaps shouldn't prevent the gaming community from doing what they love: game.

"[Xbox Live] is obviously very important to our consumers," said Durkin. "It's part of the value proposition of why consumers buy our gaming consoles.”

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RE: Secure
By Flunk on 6/23/2011 12:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
Lots of security patches is not a bad thing. Frequent patches fix security issues as they come up. It's a lot better than letting those issues sit around until the next version release.

RE: Secure
By RjBass on 6/23/2011 1:22:57 PM , Rating: 2
You mean like Apple does?

RE: Secure
By FITCamaro on 6/24/2011 9:10:26 AM , Rating: 1
Not sure if serious.

Microsoft has a far better track record of patching security vulnerabilities quickly than Apple does.

See the articles concerning Apple telling their "Genius" people to not even acknowledge the rising number of Mac viruses and such. And if people come in with one to not even fix it for them.

RE: Secure
By Smilin on 6/24/2011 9:31:16 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft has a far better track record of patching security vulnerabilities quickly than Apple does.

I couldn't agree more. It's often hard to get a proper comparison since they are different platforms and have different vulnerabilities.

The most telling event about Apple that I've seen was during the DNS spec spoofing vulnerability. It was a problem with *every* DNS implementatation. All parties were notified in advance of the vulnerability being made public. Everyone except Apple had their product patched. Apple left their server unpatched for a long time and I'm not sure if they ever got around to making the fix in the clients (surely by now I hope but it was months the last time I looked).

Microsoft manages to crank out patches in a timely fashion (usually) even though they have a monsterous regression risk because of their install base. People love to bash MSFT about being insecure but even the history making Blaster and Sasser worms were exploiting a vulnerability that MSFT had already patched by the time the outbreak happened. Those worms were more about a ecosystem full of sloppy admins than a vendor failure.

RE: Secure
By Smilin on 6/24/2011 11:39:20 AM , Rating: 2
I think he was responding to this...

" letting those issues sit around until the next version release. " .... "like apple does"

my guess.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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