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

01.30.09

Microsoft Puts the “P” in “Propaganda”; Windows Zombies Make More Extortions

Posted in Deception, FUD, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 11:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No bullshit
How lies can lead to deaths

Jeff Jones Output Needs to be Embargoed

LIES AND LIES AND LIES just carry on coming from Microsoft's Jeff Jones. While deleting legitimate comments that he does not like (including mine) from his blog, he’s pushing — on behalf of his employer — bogus statistics that they deliberately ‘massage’ in order to daemonise Firefox and glorify Internet Explorer (with ActiveX and other competition- and security-hostile add-ons). Way to go, censorship!

Despite Microsoft’s great control in the Washington Post (also mentioned in relation to the Abramoff fiasco), one of its writers is challenging these lies from Microsoft and Jeff Jones.

In analysis published on his Technet Security Blog and at cio.com, Jeff picked apart research I conducted in 2007, which found that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser was unsafe for 284 days in 2006.

According to Jones’s analysis, Firefox users were instead more “at risk” than their IE counterparts in 2006 — albeit just by a single day — 285 days in 2006, he concludes.

What Jones neglected to mention was that in my analysis I only examined the longevity of unpatched browser vulnerabilities that by each company’s definition earned the most dangerous security ratings.

In addition to being a Big Lie, these fake numbers conveniently tend to confuse “Firefox” with “Firefox on Windows”. Many of the flaws are inherent in the platform, not the Web browser alone.

“In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this. [...] Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also.”

Bill Gates [PDF]

Spyware-Soft?

Internet Explorer suffers from other deficiencies, general characteristics or problems that are user hostile. Internet Explorer 7 was already spying (eavesdropping) on people’s surfing habits by default and since it is installed and cannot be removed from Windows, it makes Windows nothing less than spyware, by the very conservative definition of the word. According to this report from The Register, Internet Explorer 8 makes it even worse. It compares what Microsoft is doing to deep packet inspection, which was implicitly ruled illegal by the EU Commission.

Privacy activists are crying foul over the “Suggested Sites” feature in IE8, but Microsoft insists concerns about the feature, such that it might be used to serve up targeted advertising or that it poses a security risk, are misplaced.

Speaking of Phorm, which was mentioned only among our daily links on occasions [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17], there is something truly bizarre about the British Government’s attitude towards Web surveillance (for purely commercial reasons). This is disturbing on so many levels and
The Register has the following new article about it:

Digital Britain: A tax, a quango and ISP snooping

Did anyone expect more from Stephen Carter CBE? The former Ofcom boss and No.10 strategy chief (sic) has spent his career moving between the world of advertising and public relations, quangos and party. So it’s no surprise that the “vision thing” involves a tax, a quango and a burden by private parties to snoop on the public. It’s an administrator’s answer.

This might explain why the British government is so deep in the pockets of Microsoft, as we have shown time and time again [1, 2]. They think alike.

Government and Microsoft in Bed

The Opera complaint is taking its toll, but it has no effect in the country where Microsoft operates from. People like Richard Stallman treat the US Department of Justice like it’s a joke (RMS puts scare quotes around “Justice”) and they have many valid reasons to [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. In fact, it has become rather conventional to say that the USDOJ is simply riddled with corruption, much like the FTC and even like the FCC. It is therefore not surprising that, according to this report from Dow Jones, the USDOJ is not willing to properly intervene, despite all the pressure that constantly arrives from the EU. Why can’t a national authority take appropriate action against reckless/rogue companies within its own borders but instead rely on justice that’s enforced or restored from overseas?

Federal and state antitrust regulators involved in a long-running settlement with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) told a federal judge Wednesday that they could not yet say if they will ask for court oversight of the software giant to extend beyond this year.

Microsoft, meanwhile, assured U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington, D.C., that none of its recent announced layoffs will reduce the number of employees working to satisfy the company’s antitrust obligations.

This whole case has been a farce [1, 2, 3] for many years and there’s new hope that the European Commission can resist and overcome pressure from talking points/Microsoft pressure groups.

A bad soap opera?

[...]

A trial against Microsoft on any particular point of its monopoly (and for that matter, on any corporation perverting the market because of its illegitimate monopolistic position) essentially conveys the message that regardless of the possible sanction against the company, its wrongdoings are not morally tolerable anymore. Were it only because of this last point, I still do find that that legal actions are sometimes justified.

Obama Fights Windows

Well, not the president but the worm. Yes, how privileged he must feel to already have a worm named after him.

The worm spreads via USB drive, using the Windows autorun feature to install itself automatically on any drive it connects with. Unlike most of today’s profit-driven malware, the Obama worm doesn’t steal your credit card number or turn your PC into a remote-controlled zombie system. In fact, it isn’t designed to do anything besides float a small picture of Obama at the bottom right corner of your desktop all day every Monday.

Will there be shunning of Windows? Not likely [1, 2, 3]. It might not even matter that entire nations are under attack by Windows zombies, as we noted yesterday. Today we find another new artifact of Windows botnets: extortion.

The botnet-powered assault was accompanied by blackmail demands posted on the site’s forum through compromised zombie machines. These threatening messages claimed the site was been carpetbombed with spurious traffic generated through a 9,000 strong botnet of compromised machines.

And herein we close a loop. As long as people like Jeff Jones are permitted to lie in public, they are simply allowed to spread the illusion that Windows is not more vulnerable than counterparts, so Windows botnets weighing hundreds of millions of computers carry on wreaking havoc without legislation that bars them from the Internet. That’s why the Internet becomes dangerous, its infrastructure unreliable, E-mails a SPAM-filled mess, and people die too.

It all begins with a Big Lie. That’s an issue that must be addressed because Microsoft is knowingly contradicting itself.

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

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

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. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: There is More Than One Iceberg Ahead

    "This strategy is not far from when Microsoft talked about "de-commoditizing protocols" in the late 90s, as part of their plans to control, dominate, and end Open Source and Free software."



  2. EPO Cannot Handle Patent Justice With a Backlog of About 10,000 Cases at the Boards of Appeal

    The EPO's long war on judges and on the law has proven to be costly; it's difficult to pretend that the EPO functions like a first-world legal framework



  3. The European Patent Office Increases Surveillance: Can't Get Food Without Being Spied on

    The infamous "War on Cash" has been 'won' at Europe's second-largest institution, where people's diet can now be monitored and indefinitely retained on the system



  4. To GNU/Linux, the Operating System, GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) is Not the Threat. Microsoft is.

    Don't let Microsoft get away with its bogus narration; GNU/Linux is primarily under attack from Microsoft, whereas Software Freedom in general is under attack from many directions



  5. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Has the Full Support of Techrights

    Our support for the FSF is strong enough that we want to occasionally suggest improvements; there are growing frictions designed to isolate the FSF and cause self-restraint/censorship



  6. Why We Support Phoronix (Whereas Some Others Do Not)

    Some people try to characterise Michael Larabel as the 'bad boy' of Linux even though Michael is probably the hardest working Linux journalist out there



  7. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: The Simplest Ways that AI will Change Computing

    "AI is already used to help kill people. We should be cautious, and know that the best rules we come up with (like no doing magic outside the school grounds) won't be followed all the time."



  8. Links 20/8/2019: DragonFlyBSD Developing DSynth

    Links for the day



  9. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Narcissism in The Community

    "Narcissists are drawn to intelligent people. They take great pleasure in attacking, controlling and defeating intelligent people because it makes them feel smarter and more important."



  10. Breaking the Law Has Become the Norm at the European Patent Office

    The European Patent Office’s ongoing practice of destroying critics/whistleblowers and crushing unions, judges, examiners etc. — as well as threats and bribery of the media — ultimately mean a perpetual state of lawlessness that, if it prevails, will let patent trolls raid the European economy and stall innovation



  11. Links 20/8/2019: KMyMoney 5.0.6, Kdenlive 19.08

    Links for the day



  12. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free Software in Education

    "If everyone learns to code, then everyone gains some understanding of how to code in other languages."



  13. Links 19/8/2019: Another Linux 5.3 RC, OpenSUSE's Richard Brown Steps Down, Slackware Creates Patreon Page, Qt 6 Initiated

    Links for the day



  14. Speaking Truth to Monopolies (or How to Write Guest Posts in Techrights)

    We need to have more articles tackling the passage of all power — especially when it comes to software — to few large monopolies that disregard human rights or actively participate in their abolishment in the digital realm



  15. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free as in Speech

    "While a new breed of so-called anarchists campaign against expression that even the state allows, people are also foolishly overplaying the relevance of the state to free speech issues -- as if it's not a freedom issue when a project is increasingly thought-policed, because the thought-policing isn't on a state level."



  16. Toxic Culture at Microsoft

    Racism, intolerance, sexism and bullying are rampant at Microsoft; but Microsoft would rather deflect/divert/sidetrack to Google and so-called 'GAFA'



  17. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Introduction

    "The FSF isn't just threatened, it will hit a large iceberg in the future that changes it permanently."



  18. Linux Journal and Linux.com Should Have Been Kept Going

    There's apparently no good explanation for the effective shutdown of Linux Journal and Linux.com; London Trust Media Holdings (LTMH), owner of Linux Journal, saw numbers improving and the Linux Foundation, steward of Linux.com, is loaded with money



  19. 2019 Microsoft Glossary

    How Microsoft internally interprets words that it is saying to the public and to the press



  20. 2019 Surveillance Glossary

    Distortion of technical and nontechnical terms in this day and age of '1984'



  21. Openwashing Report: It's Getting Worse, Fast. Everything is Apparently 'Open' Now Even Though It's Actually Proprietary.

    The latest examples (this past week's) of openwashing in the media, ranging from 5G to surveillance



  22. GitHub is a Dagger Inside Free/Open Source Software (FOSS); This is Why Microsoft Bought It

    A year later it seems pretty evident that Microsoft doesn’t like FOSS but is merely trying to control it, e.g. by buying millions of FOSS projects/repositories at the platform level (the above is what the Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin said to Microsoft at their event while antitrust regulators were still assessing the proposed takeover)



  23. Microsoft Grows Within and Eats You From the Inside

    Microsoft entryism and other subversive tactics continue to threaten and sometimes successfully undermine the competition; Microsoft is nowadays doing that to core projects in the Free/Open Source software world



  24. Links 18/8/2019: New KNOPPIX and Emmabuntus Released

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/8/2019: Unigine 2.9 and Git 2.23

    Links for the day



  26. Computer-Generated Patent Applications Show That Patents and Innovations Are Very Different Things

    The 'cheapening' of the concept of 'inventor' (or 'invention') undermines the whole foundation/basis of the patent system and deep inside patent law firms know it



  27. Concerns About IBM's Commitment to OpenSource.com After the Fall of Linux.com and Linux Journal

    The Web site OpenSource.com is over two decades old; in its current form it's about a decade old and it contains plenty of good articles, but will IBM think so too and, if so, will investment in the site carry on?



  28. Electronic Frontier Foundation Makes a Mistake by Giving Award to Microsoft Surveillance Person

    At age 30 (almost) the Electronic Frontier Foundation still campaigns for privacy; so why does it grant awards to enemies of privacy?



  29. Caturdays and Sundays at Techrights Will Get Busier

    Our plan to spend the weekends writing more articles about Software Freedom; it seems like a high-priority issue



  30. Why Techrights Doesn't Do Social Control Media

    Being managed and censored by platform owners (sometimes their shareholders) isn’t an alluring proposition when a site challenges conformist norms and the status quo; Techrights belongs in a platform of its own


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

Recent Posts