Programs That Don’t Understand Least Privilage

Dana is always railing on people to not run as administrator on Windows unless you have to (ie: installing software). I’ve said before that right now that OS/X does it the right way, basically implementing a system wide ‘sudo’ setup (though Fedora/Mandrake and other Linux distros do the same thing).

Anyway, Mike found that software sucks when it is setup to use the old “run as root” method. To me it really sounds like the software designers didn’t even try, which is too bad, because it encourages people to run as root (well, administrator in Windows parlance) and we all know that this is a universally Bad Thing™, but until you can run software and not worry about what user you’re using it as, people will continue to run as a privilaged user and continue to screw up their systems and contribute to spam, worms and viruses. Now that said, the design of the Windows OS doesn’t really encourage users not to run as administrator, as MacOS does.

Of course, I’m guessing that because software isn’t written to use least privilage mode the OS isn’t being reworked to not use it, and because the OS isn’t set up for least privilage, the software designers (the majority? some?) aren’t bothering to go to much effort to make their systems work with it.