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 Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  2. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  3. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  4. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  5. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  6. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  7. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  8. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  9. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  10. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  11. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  12. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  13. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  14. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  15. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  16. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  17. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  19. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  20. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  21. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  22. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day



  23. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day



  24. Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

    Links for the day



  25. Lawyers' Propaganda About Software Patents and a New AstroTurf Entity Called Innovation Alliance

    Patent propaganda and deception from patent lawyers (among other parasites such as patent trolls) continues to flood the Web, intersecting with reports that prove them totally wrong



  26. How Microsoft Handles Disasters: Grace Hopper Conference Has Been Infiltrated by "Microsoft Disaster Response"

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) must be a disaster to Microsoft's bottom line because Microsoft is sending "Microsoft Disaster Response" to infiltrate and disrupt a conference about women in FOSS



  27. Links 8/10/2014: Gummersbach Moves to GNU/Linux, Docker Acquires Koality, KDE Frameworks 5.3

    Links for the day



  28. Links 7/10/2014: CAINE 6.0, PC-BSD 10.0.3

    Links for the day



  29. Benoît Battistelli's Balkan Standards in EPO: Part V

    How the European Patent Office facilitated the inclusion of previously-connected elements that are best known for misconduct and dirty politics



  30. Symptoms of Post-x86 Era: Even Intel Apologists Turn Against Bribes-Dependent Intel While Microsoft Continues to Deceive Journalists on Patents in Order to Create a Scare

    The Wintel press, which is bribed by companies that it covers, is challenged by prominent developers and Microsoft continues to plant its patent propaganda in the Wintel-centric (and paid) press


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