Scott Charney: Microsoft's security chief reveals all

Shortly after the 9/11 bombings, Microsoft hired Scott Charney, a federal prosecutor for the US justice Department, to head up its Trustworthy Computing division. At AusCERT 2008, ZDNet.com.au caught up with Charney to hear his thoughts on how those events changed the security landscape and what he thinks about the current state of IT security.

Shortly after the 9/11 bombings, Microsoft hired Scott Charney, a federal prosecutor for the US justice Department, to head up its Trustworthy Computing division. At AusCERT 2008, ZDNet.com.au caught up with Charney to hear his thoughts on how those events changed the security landscape and what he thinks about the current state of IT security.

The Trustworthy Computing division's sole task was to ensure that Microsoft made security the highest priority when developing products.

Scott Charney, VP of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group

Charney was an interesting choice for Microsoft. In his role as lead federal prosecutor for the US Department of Justice's criminal division, he worked on every major hacking case in the United States between 1991 and 1999.

The first real evidence that Microsoft had changed its ways came with the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2, which contained an improved firewall, had auto-update turned on by default and consolidated security controls into a single "security centre". According to Microsoft, the update made Windows XP 15 times safer.

In this exclusive eight-part video interview, Charney discusses Microsoft's current approach to security, what challenges lie ahead and what has gone wrong in the past.

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