Microsoft talks security, InfoCard

Written by Wil Harris

February 15, 2006 | 10:40

Tags: #bill-gates #infocard #rsa-security #security

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft has been very talkative over the past couple of days, and there's a fair amount to tell you about the firm's plans for the short-term future.

First up, it announced fixes for a couple of new security flaws. One is in IE and one is in Media Player - both allow for hackers to take total control of a system by running arbitary code on a remote computer. A fairly serious problem, and one that seems to be the latest in a long line of arbitary code problems for MS. There are now fixes for the security flaws over at Microsoft.com/security.

It has also unveiled a new security tool, called InfoCard. Saying that passwords are swiftly becoming the weak link in online security, Bill Gates said that this new programme would allow users to configure a virtual ID card with credit card details and address details, then use that ID card on appropriately configured websites. The security and user-certainty the tool would introduce could cut down on phishing scams and online fraud, Gates told the RSA Security conference.

Just how different this is from the Passport identity system that Microsoft canned last year is unclear. That was also planned to be a single login for everywhere on the net, but generally failed. However, Gates said that the InfoCard software would integrate with IE7 upon the release of Vista. No work on whether it would work with FireFox or other alternate browsers, however.

Gates also confirmed that Windows OneCare Live will cost $49.95 a year. He did little to answer critics who have suggested that buying a Microsoft product to protect a Microsoft product possibly isn't the best idea.

Microsoft has also said, in separate news, that is has found and isolated the problem which was causing power drain over USB in new Intel Core Duo notebooks. A patch will be issued shortly, and will also include a BIOS update for certain notebooks.

If you want some more information on InfoCard, check out the further reading links. In the meantime, why not let us know your thoughts on the initiative over in the forums?

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