Microsoft: We'll help other vendors find, fix their bugs

But company stops short of promising to lend Windows Update to others

Third-party software is increasingly targeted by hackers, with flaws in popular add-ons such as Apple's QuickTime and Adobe Systems' Flash frequently making news. Symantec, however, noted earlier this year that Microsoft's ActiveX technology accounted for the overwhelming majority of browser vulnerabilities in the second half of 2007.

In the end, Cushman said, we're all in this together. "It takes a village," he said. "All of us need to cooperate."

Earlier this week, Cushman announced other initiatives that Microsoft will launch in the next two months, including one that will add exploitability predictions to its patch bulletins and another that will give some security companies information about upcoming bug fixes before the patches are released to the public.

"The reaction has been very positive," Cushman added Thursday. "Vendors are quite keen on knowing about the Active Protection Program. And there's been a little bit of 'wow' from people here at Black Hat."

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