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. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    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