Unwanted extra for Microsoft professor

The Microsoft e-business professor at AUT, Bill Doolin, has been endowed with more than just his salary thanks to the software company.

The Microsoft e-business professor at the Auckland University of Technology, Bill Doolin, has been endowed with more than just his salary thanks to the software company.

Doolin disclosed during a public lecture on e-business last week that he had fallen victim to the Blaster virus, which exploits a hole in several versions of Microsoft Windows.

But Doolin said — with Microsoft marketing manager Tony Ward in the audience — there were no hard feelings.

“It wasn’t a major drama.”

Doolin recovered by following links provided by his ISP to antivirus and Windows updates.

“It was pretty seamless.”

Ward asked during question time at the conclusion of Doolin’s lecture where a software vendor’s responsibility ends and customer’s begins in relation to security.

Without singling out Microsoft, Doolin said vendors do need to take responsibility.

Ward was late to arrive at the lecture, saying his day had been spent fielding media questions about the virus.

He said he’d personally made the decision at the start of the week to issue an alert about the flaw exploited by Blaster, which preceded first reports of the virus’s release by about 12 hours. No other Microsoft subsidiary had done so, he said.

A Microsoft call centre had been swamped by calls on Wednesday, once the virus took hold, receiving more than Microsoft Australia’s hotline.

“I don’t know whether that’s because more New Zealanders are being affected or more are concerned about it.”

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