ZDNet is running a story that predicts the death of third-party firewalls now that the XP Firewall will be turned on by default in the next service pack for Windows XP.
This is simply not true. The Microsoft firewall can be disabled with three lines of VBScript code. This has been tested by sysadmins on Service Pack 2 betas in order to allow remote administration of machines.
I’d bet that non-MS firewalls can’t be disabled this easily.
Imagine a virus that executes the code to disable the firewall, and then sends the IP to a central registry somewhere.
And since MS is selling whitelist features to spammers, what would prevent them from allowing companies to write call-home features and buy their way through the XP firewall?
Also, given their track record, are consumers willing to trust computer security to Microsoft?