When I read Gregg Keizer's Computerworld piece, "Microsoft puts Mac users at risk with patch policy, says researcher" it initially left me on the fence. Just the other day Microsoft released patches for Windows versions of PowerPoint. It sounded good until we learned that patches for the same defect in PowerPoint editions for the Mac wouldn't be out until June.
On the one hand, I see the advantage to releasing a patch - just about any patch - as soon as it is available, just so that more users will be able to protect their systems ASAP. On the other hand, it made me uneasy that Microsoft has gone totally against what they've been adamantly preaching; that is, releasing data that hackers can use to infiltrate computers before patches have been released. To go against their own stated policy seemed self-serving and opportunistic.
But then I learned that nCircle Network Security's director of security operations Andrew Storms pointed out that if hackers haven't yet created an exploit for the already month-old flawed code, chances are they're not going to use the Windows patch as a basis for building an exploit for the Mac. In that sense, I say it was a good idea to go ahead and release the Windows patch as it became available.
This story, "Mac Users Left Out of PowerPoint Patches" was originally published by Computerworld.