What it is: Security experts have discovered a flaw in Windows 8 and 10 that make it less secure than Windows 7.
Usually when you upgrade an operating system, the upgrade is more reliable and secure. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Windows 8 our Windows 10. For security, all modern operating systems rely on something called ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) that randomly places programs in different memory addresses so hackers can’t reliably predict what might appear in a specific memory address. While ASLR works correctly in Windows 7 (along with Linux, macOS, and Android), its implementation in Windows 8 and Windows 10 is lacking. That means Windows 8 and Windows 10 are actually less secure than Windows 7.
Microsoft will obviously address this problem, but this simply shows that upgrading is never perfect and that security flaws exist in every product regardless of who makes it or how long it’s been available. However, this also shows that security is only as good as its implementation as well. Without proper implementation, even the best security measures will simply feel like an illusion.
The bottom line is that nothing is ever completely secure so the best you can hope for is as much security to discourage most attacks. Computer security can be completely undone by poor user decisions, so you must make sure that you practice good security measures consistently regardless of which computer operating system you use. The weakest link in most systems is often the user.
How this security flaw got mangled in Windows 8 and Windows 10 while working perfectly in Windows 7 is the real problem. Why did Microsoft take perfectly working code in Windows 7 and modify it so it no longer worked at all? Obviously something is wrong with Microsoft’s updating process that would allow this to happen. Far too often, programmers simply change things because they want to, not because their changes will actually improve the code. That appears to be the problem with Microsoft in this instance. Hopefully this problem won’t happen again but it likely will, if not at Microsoft than at some other company.
Security is only as good as the people using it and implementing it. For most people, they can only trust that their security works as advertised, but when that fails to happen, then security ultimately boils down to the user. The best security defense is a smarter user and no amount of programming can influence that.