Ballmer slams hackers as criminals
By T.C. Doyle, VARBusiness
Date: October 01, 2003
"Hackers are criminals," Ballmer says, plain and simple. And they don't innovate, either, he adds. "Hackers are people who are causing hundreds of millions and billions of dollars in damage," he says. "And they're not showing that they are not all that smart and creative and clever."
In an exclusive interview conducted by VARBusiness in conjunction with sister publication CRN, Ballmer made it absolutely clear where his company, arguably the biggest target for cybercrime the world over, stands when it comes to hacking, be it malicious code-authoring or what some consider to be ethical programming.
Ballmer likens these individuals to criminals who blow up buildings and says the monetary damage is worse. And he takes umbrage to the notion that some are ethical and help create new innovations for the market by pushing IT to its limits. Most, he notes, release their malicious code after patches for Microsoft software have been released, meaning that they are simply reverse engineering to exploit security weaknesses or holes in software.
Ballmer was responding to a question posed to him by the editors of VARBusiness, which collected a wealth of queries by its readers.
"There's no way to way to look these people as anything other than what they are: malicious people who are violating the law," Ballmer said. Their work, of course, is causing Microsoft significant grief.
"We're really going to have to ratchet up our game in terms of working with our customers and our partners to work with our customers around security," he said. He added that the company is planning a significant announcement around security specifically to address the ongoing problem associated with malicious attacks on Microsoft systems and networks. Ballmer hinted that there will be a new set of ways Microsoft educates its customers on security and puts partners in position to help customers with theirs. "That is job one on a day-to-day on my radar," he said.
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