The sixth worst job in science in 2007 is the Microsoft security grunt. Right between the "coursework carcass preparer" and the "gravity research project."
PopSci.com explains why the vulnerability triage folks at Redmond makes its top ten list of the worst jobs in science this year:
Do you flinch when your inbox dings? The people manning secure@microsoft .com receive approximately 100,000 dings a year, each one a message that something in the Microsoft empire may have gone terribly wrong. Teams of Microsoft Security Response Center employees toil 365 days a year to fix the kinks in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office and all the behemoth’s other products. It’s tedious work. Each product can have multiple versions in multiple languages, and each needs its own repairs (by one estimate, Explorer alone has 300 different configurations).
Plus, to most hackers, crippling Microsoft is the geek equivalent of taking down the Death Star, so the assault is relentless. According to the SANS Institute, a security research group, Microsoft products are among the top five targets of online attack. Meanwhile, faith in Microsoft security is ever-shakier -- according to one estimate, 30 percent of corporate chief information officers have moved away from some Windows platforms in recent years. “Microsoft is between a rock and a hard place,” says Marcus Sachs, the director of the SANS Internet Storm Center. “They have to patch so much software on a case-by-case basis. And all in a world that just doesn’t have time to wait.”
BigFix's Amrit Williams echoes my thoughts on this amusing bit of link-baiting.