PC users pin blame on Microsoft for latest worms

A web poll of more than 1,000 business PC users shows that while most hold virus writers responsible for the recent computer worms, a good portion assign blame for the malware to Microsoft.

The poll, conducted by antivirus supplier Sophos, showed 35 percent of respondents blame Microsoft for the latest internet attacks targeting a recently discovered vulnerability in Windows.

Forty-five percent blame virus writers while 20 percent view systems administrators as responsible for not patching computers quickly enough.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said in a statement that the results were surprising.

"Users' anger is perhaps understandable as Microsoft's security problems and their consequences are felt by businesses the world over," he said. "Many respondents appear to be incredibly frustrated by the constant need to roll out emergency patches across their organizations."

A separate Sophos poll showed that 28 percent of respondents rated Microsoft as their most trusted operating system for security while 47 percent believe Linux and Unix are the most secure.

Microsoft did not immediately return a request for comment.

A recent update to the SANS Top 20 most critical vulnerabilities list showed that all kinds of software products are vulnerable, not just Microsoft, noted Marcus Sachs, director of the SANS Internet Storm Center.

The update, released last month, cited vulnerabilities in Veritas, Oracle, Apple, and Firefox, in addition to Microsoft.

"Countless other pieces of software out there can be just as weak as a piece of Microsoft software and those that do the attacks are keenly aware of it," he said. "This underscores that it's not just a Microsoft problem, like many would like to believe."

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