| By Susan Bradley |
We bid farewell to Microsoft support for Windows 2000 and Windows XP SP2 this month.
The complex security systems we live with today that protect us from malicious Internet attacks have their roots in these two venerable operating systems.
Windows 2000 event taught hard security lessons
It’s no small irony that, on this lighter-than-usual month of patches, the most interesting news is about the operating system that failed. No, I’m not talking about Vista but rather Windows 2000, which is now officially no longer supported by Microsoft.
At one time, Windows 2000 was touted as the safest operating system ever. And then came that fateful July 13, 2001, when a virus called Code Red hit.
That event launched many of the security concepts we live with today: the User Account Control we hate and the services such as Internet Information that are now disabled by default. Bill Gates reportedly made Microsoft’s engineers go back to school for several months to learn how to code securely.
Windows XP, arguably Microsoft’s most popular operating system, gained many of its most important security features from the lessons learned by Microsoft as it patched Windows 2000.