Things I've written that have amused other people, Episode 9

Raymond Chen

A customer liaison reported that their customer wants to be able to access their machine without needing a password. They just want to be able to net use * \\machine\share and be able to access the files right away. I guess because passwords are confusing, easy to forget, and just get in the way. Anyway, the customer discovered that they could do so on Windows XP by going to the folder they want to share, going to the Sharing tab, then clicking on the If you understand the security risks but want to share files without running the wizard link, and then on the Enable File Sharing dialog, clicking Just enable file sharing. What the customer wanted to know was if there was a way they could automate this process.

My response to the customer liaison went like this:

Your customer has chosen to ignore not one but two security warnings. Furthermore, since they are looking for an automated way of doing this, it sounds like they intend on deploying this “feature” to all the computers in their organization. Maybe they just enjoy being part of a botnet? Your customer is basically saying “I wish my computer to have no network security.” They should at least restrict access to authenticated users. But if they if they insist on having their corporate network turned into a spam farm, they can enable the Guest account and say that it can “Access this computer from the network.” Congratulations, your computers will soon be filled with malware and porn.

That last sentence made it into some people’s quotes file.


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