We here at the UW, and many other major research universities I know of, have been spending massive amounts of time and energy this week dealing with the latest exploits of security holes in Microsoft’s Windows operating systems. There have been many computers compromised, and many many more that are still vulnerable. We have been forced to block access to some services at the border of the insititution, breaking access to popular services such as Microsoft Exchange email and calendaring from off campus.
Yet this event has gone virtually unnoticed in the popular press, which has in the past made much bigger deals about much smaller events. Ironically, this is one instance where the press could really help, because the best solution to this problem is for individual computer owners to keep current with the updates and patches coming from Microsoft. If everybody did keep up to date, the magnitude of security problems would be much smaller.
My colleague Dave Dittrich has pointed out that there is finally an AP story on this vulnerability that shows up on the CNN web site.