EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.05.08

Microsoft Unleashes Proxies at Journalists to Defend Vulnerable Vista

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Security, Vista, Windows at 10:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Policemen
Microsoft is policing the press again

R

EVISIONISM STRIKES again [1, 2, 3]. Last week and the week before that we wrote about a very serious new flaw in Windows Vista, which is not secure and prone to making more zombie PCs. Reporters who wrote about the issue seem to have received a little ‘cybervisit’ from a well-known (and very ville) Microsoft proxy, the Waggener Edstrom group. It is a fact of life that few reporters will talk about their experiences with these media bullies, but Egan at The Inquirer, being an avid reader of Groklaw, has just spilled the beans on them. They tried to change his report about the kernel flaw in Windows Vista (“Would you be able to update your story to reflect this?”). Here is the story which reveals the full correspondence with Rickard Andersson, a front line man for the news-shaping monopolist.

IT IS NOT OFTEN that anyone at Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft’s pet public relations firm, writes to The INQUIRER. Read on, and we think you’ll soon understand why that’s the case.

They tried to airbrush history.

The Inquirer does not report anything unusual here. The Inquirer just happens to be more frank about behind-the-scenes machinations that the public rarely hears about. This is not the first time that the Inquirer writes about this type of stuff. We covered examples of this two nights ago.

Never forget how Waggener Edstrom “plants” articles inside the media. The firm even brags to its paymaster, Microsoft, about “planting” anti-Linux stories [1, 2].

For more information about Waggener Edstrom, see [1, 2, 3, 4]. More recently, Waggener Edstrom was in the midst of the laptop bribes fiasco. These are Microsoft agents in suits and some such agencies hire people to AstroTurf [1, 2], as well.

Virtually Every Windows PC is Zombie Candidate

To address the topic Waggener Edstrom intervened with (message as opposed to messenger), let’s look at this week’s headlines about security, shall we?

Yesterday it was revealed that Windows is still hugely vulnerable due to already-known “critical” flaws. That’s the highest severity level in Microsoft’s terminology/ladder. There are no less than six “critical” flaws this time around.

System administrators look like having a busy time in the run-up to Christmas as they digest and test the eight security bulletins that Microsoft expects to release next Tuesday. Six of the bulletins are rated critical.

More information can be found here.

Earlier this week we wrote about Windows putting national security and people's lives at risk. Carla has published a brilliant, improved article not just about the insecurity of Windows; she addresses the fact that Microsoft does not allow the media to blame Windows, so the likes of Waggener Edstrom come to mind again (details above).

So my guess it’s very widespread and they don’t want to admit just how bad it is. But there is one fact that becomes apparent to the tech-educated reader with the wit to look up little clues dropped in those stories like breadcrumbs– such as SillyFDC and agent.btx– it’s all Windows computers that are affected. And yet in all of those news stories I read, not one single story said this. The closest any of them came to naming names was this ZDNet article:

“Our military is dependent upon commodity desktops whose software shares an enormous amount of DNA with systems that sit on every workplace in the planet”

A masterpiece of weasel-wording. Is Microsoft’s grip on the news media that tight? Why isn’t this a huge scandal? Weird-looking old ladies with thick shoes trying to catch their planes are not threats to this country’s security, though they are treated as such, but Windows is a proven threat, and yet Microsoft gets a free pass.

Is Windows no more fragile and vulnerable than other platforms? Using the lies of Jeff Jones, Microsoft hopes that the world will believe this, but as Microsoft fan Joe Wilcox has just pointed out, it’s all just a myth.

Will bloggers and journalists please stop writing that Apple has suddenly advised its users to use anti-virus software? That’s simply not true.

[...]

There haven’t been any major new malware attacks to suggest increasing Mac marketshare has generated more malware. Just two weeks ago, I blogged that in fact Apple’s increasing marketshare hadn’t led to more attacks—that Microsoft’s marketshare mythology is wrong.

On the other side of this, Secunia has just published what would be jaw-dropping to those who did not already know it:

1. Virtually Every Windows PC at Risk, Says Secunia

More than 98% of Windows computers harbor at least one unpatched application, and nearly half contain 11 or more programs at risk from attack, a Danish security company said Wednesday.

2. Windows patching abysmal, and getting worse

Fewer than one in 50 Windows PCs are fully patched, according to stats from users of Secunia’s new patching tool, which suggest surfers are becoming even more slipshod with applying patches over the last year.

3. Secunia publishes shocking vulnerability statistics

Since the release of Personal Software Inspector 1.0 last week, over those seven days security specialists Secunia have gathered statistics showing that out of 20,000 PCs polled only 1.91 per cent of machines in personal use are fully patched with the latest security updates. According to statistics Secunia have gathered in the past, if anything, the numbers for insecure PCs are worse now, than they were a year ago.

Added are the following thoughts which have just been sent in by a regular reader of this Web site:

“One can have a lot of fun with this: It’s more than a little ironic that the one man responsible for the most damage to the US economy is whining about economic stimulus. Windows viruses, worms and malware have been costing double-digit billions per year in the US. Spam, which originates almost exclusively from Windows, is not included in the figures any more.

“Remove Microsoft and you give a many billion dollar boost to the economy, even after the cost of upgrading to OSX, Linux, BSD or Solaris is taken into account.”

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

“Usually Microsoft doesn’t develop products, we buy products. It’s not a bad product, but bits and pieces are missing.”

Arno Edelmann, Microsoft’s European business security product manager

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Says It Will Continue to Extort Companies That Distribute Linux, Using Software Patents As Usual

    Microsoft's war on Linux, a war which is waged using software patents (for revenue and/or for coercion in bundling deals), is still going on in spite of all the PR tactics from Microsoft and its paid partners



  2. Australia Might be Next to Block Software Patents If Commission's Advice is Followed

    Australian advice against software patents, which can hopefully influence Australian politicians and put an end, once and for all, to all software patents in Australia



  3. [ES] ''Si la Forma de Pensar de la EPO fuese Seguida, Guantánamo Sería Posible en Suelo Alemán.”

    La EPO está todavía bajo fuego, pero mucho de ello pasa detrás de las cortinas y envuelve abogados y/o burócratas



  4. The European Copy-Paste Office (EPO)

    This morning's example (not the first) of how the EPO uses 'social' media



  5. Links 28/4/2016: Fedora 24, EE Goes Open Source

    Links for the day



  6. Amid Referendum “the New European Unitary Patent System is Likely to Collapse Before It Started”

    The Unitary Patent Court (UPC) vision seems like it may be just one month away from its gradual death, depending on British voices amongst other key factors



  7. USTR is Trying to Shame and Bully India Into Introducing Software Patents in India

    Lobbying body of the US (corporations-led) is trying its usual dirty tactics against India's sound policy which excludes software/algorithms from patent scope



  8. No, Visual Studio is NOT Open Source and Xamarin Openwashing is NOT News

    The latest example of Microsoft openwashing, courtesy of confidants of Microsoft and those who got bamboozled by them



  9. Latest Black Duck Puff Pieces a Good Example of Bad Journalism and How Not to Report

    Why the latest "Future of Open Source Survey" -- much like its predecessors -- isn't really a survey but just another churnalism opportunity for the Microsoft-connected Black Duck, which is a proprietary parasite inside the FOSS community



  10. If EPO “Form of Thinking Were to be Followed, Guantanamo on German Soil Would be Possible.”

    The EPO is still under fire, but a lot of it happens behind the scenes and involves lawyers and/or bureaucrats



  11. Links 28/4/2016: Tomb Raider for GNU/Linux, Proxmox VE 4.2

    Links for the day



  12. [ES] La Departura de la Readidad de la EPO Y Su Entrada en la Esféra Industrial China de Propaganda

    La deceptiva trampa del maximálism de patentes, donde se asume que artficialmente aumentando el número de patentes otorgadas traerá el resultado esperado



  13. [ES] Una Fársa de Sistema: ¿Cómo la SIPO, USPTO, y cada vez más la EPO se Convierten en Llenado de Patentes (No Se Requiere Propia Examinación)

    Una crítica al decline en la calidad de patentes en algunas de las más grandes oficinas de patentes del mundo, donde aspiración parece ser neo-liberal en el sentido económico



  14. [ES] Microsoft ‘Asalto con Todo’ Contra Android, Java, y GNU/Linux, Usando la Clásica E.E.E. Táctica de Nuevo

    Otro recordatorio de la realidad que Microsoft está muy activo en el frente E.E.E., not no sólo contra GNU/Linux pero también Android y Java



  15. [ES] Más Rumores y Llamadas Acerca de Prospectos de Microsoft Vaya a Comprar Canonical (Ubuntu con todo y Zapatos)

    Teniendo en cuenta los últimos movimientos de Canonical, algunos expertos piensan que es posible que Shuttleworth elija el dinero a Microsoft sobre principios sino también inste para que esto ocurra



  16. Links 27/4/2016: A Lot About OpenStack, Vivaldi 1.1 Released

    Links for the day



  17. A Farce of a System: How SIPO, USPTO, and Increasingly the EPO Too Turn Into Filing Systems (No Proper Examination/Filtering Required)

    A critique of the declining quality of patents in some of the world's biggest patent offices, where the aspiration seems to be neo-liberal in the economic sense



  18. Microsoft's 'Full Assault' on Android, Java, and GNU/Linux, Using Classic E.E.E. Tactics Again

    Another reminder of the fact that Microsoft is very active on the E.E.E. front, not just against GNU/Linux but also Android and Java



  19. More Rumours and Calls Surrounding Prospects of Microsoft Buying Canonical (Ubuntu and More)

    Taking some of Canonical's recent moves into account, some pundits not only think it's possible for Shuttleworth to choose Microsoft money over principles but also urge for this to happen



  20. [ES] El Nuevo Impulso Finánciado por Microsoft Para Reforzar las Patentes de Software en los EE.UU., Apoyado por los Sospechosos Usuales (La Sagrada Familia) Mientras que Microsoft Cada Vez Más Lucha Como Compañíá Productiva

    Una mirada al esfuérzo de trae una resurgencia de las patentes de software en los Estados Unidos (con un clarísimo rol de Microsoft en él) y la fundación/conf ianza de Microsoften las patentes de software como arma contr Linux/Android porque las ganancias de Windows se están secando y el Windows Phone está al borde del colápso



  21. Links 26/4/2016: Firefox 46.0, Thunderbird's Stewardship

    Links for the day



  22. Links 25/4/2016: Kodi 16.1, OpenStack Summit

    Links for the day



  23. New Microsoft-Funded Push to Make Software Patents Stronger in the US, Backed by the Usual Suspects as Microsoft Increasingly Struggles as a Producing Company

    A look at the effort to bring about a software patents resurgence to the US (with clear Microsoft role in it) and Microsoft's reliance on software patents as a weapon against Linux/Android because Windows profits dry up and Windows Phone is on the verge of collapse



  24. Patents Roundup: Marijuana Patents, Patent Satellites, Patent Trolls, Wars, and Merchants (Notably Lawyers)

    Various strands of news about patents, focused on issues raised in the latter half of last week



  25. The EPO's Departure From Truth and Entrance Into the Realms of Chinese Industrial-Grade Propaganda

    The entrapping delusion of patent maximalism, wherein artificially or superficially increasing the number of granted patents is assumed to be a desirable outcome



  26. [ES] La Fundación de Frontera Electrónica (EFF) Continua su Batalla por la Sanidad de Patentes en los Estados Unidos

    Una mirada a las últimas actividades de la EFF en el área de patentes, donde probablemente habrá mayor énfasis en los daños de las patentes de software y la necesidad de eliminarlas completamente



  27. [ES] La Sociedad Regional de Economía Comprehensiva (RCEP) Amenaza Traer las Patentes de Software a la India

    La amenaza que arrastra otro acuerdo denominado de "comercio" cuyo impacto a favor de los MONOPOLIOS contra los intereses del pueblo de la India y por lo tanto debe ser rechazadas por ellos



  28. [ES] Toma Menos de 10 Votos para 'Ganar' una Elección en la Mini Unión (Minion) de Battistelli

    Una mirada al minúsculo tamaño de la Unión apadrinada por Battistelli, la que parece tener una docena de miembros activos



  29. [ES] Di la Verdad Acerca del Sistema de Patentes de los EE.UU., Conseguiras Ser Atacado por la Máquina Propagandistica de Patentes (Disfrazada de Prensa)

    El Sr. Darrell Issa (fotografiado arriba) cae bajo ataque de los proponentes de patentes de software patents, los apologistas de los trolles de patentes (quiénes los financian frecuéntemente), y los máximalistas de patentes porque correctamente insinuó que la (mayoría) de demandantes son como/casi trolles de patentes en los Estados Unidos



  30. Links 24/4/2016: Google Summer of Code 2016, Year of the OpenBSD Desktop

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts