Summary: Microsoft is spinning security problems and uses the press to pressure people to buy a newer version of the same operating system while one Microsoft MVP still comments using a pseudonym (multiple accounts)
I’m not quite sure what this was important to someone, but Todd Bishop of TechFlash sat down with Microsoft to discuss those crazy Seinfeld ads from way back in ought-8. He essentially asked Microsoft “What were you thinking?” and got some interesting replies.
“It’s secure. Really! Our former employees say so.”
Mozilla beats Apple, Microsoft to Pwn2Own patch punch
Mozilla late yesterday patched a critical Firefox vulnerability used by a German researcher to win $10,000 for hacking the open-source browser at last week’s Pwn2Own contest.
In a repeat of 2009, Mozilla was the first browser maker to patch a bug exploited at Pwn2Own. In fact, the company improved on its performance by fixing the newest flaw only eight days after Nils, a researcher who works for U.K.-based MWR InfoSecurity, hacked Firefox. Last year, Mozilla took 10 days to come up with its Pwn2Own fix. Nils also successfully exploited Firefox at 2009′s contest.
On the other hand, Vista 7 remained vulnerable, but this would not be the first time. Consider for example:
- Cybercrime Rises and Vista 7 is Already Open to Hijackers
- Vista 7: Broken Apart Before Arrival
- Department of Homeland Security ‘Poisoned’ by Microsoft; Vista 7 is Open to Hijackers Again
- Vista 7 Security “Cannot be Fixed. It’s a Design Problem.”
- Why Vista 7 Could be the Least Secure Operating System Ever
- Journalists Suggest Banning Windows, Maybe Suing Microsoft Over DDoS Attacks
- Vista 7 Vulnerable to Latest “Critical” Flaws
- Vista 7 Seemingly Affected by Several More “Critical” Flaws This Month
- Reason #1 to Avoid Vista 7: Insecurity
- Vista 7 Left Hijackable Again (Almost a Monthly Recurrence)
- Trend Micro: Vista 7 Less Secure Than Vista
- Vista 7 Less Secure Than Predecessors? Remote BSoD Now Possible!
Just days after a pair of researchers outwitted major Windows 7 defenses to exploit Internet Explorer and Firefox, Microsoft said the measures aren’t meant to “prevent every attack forever.”
Yes, this is an excuse, but a lot of sites gave that coverage [1, 2, 3] and there were also many headlines about the security PR delivered by BeyondTrust, which is headed by a former Microsoft marketing person. It is almost as though Microsoft hijacked the news for PR purposes. Almost all the headlines about Vista 7 simply brag about it being secure, even though the real news is about the operating system’s defenses being breached. That’s real perception management at work. Over in Asia, Microsoft is said to be reviewing its PR business. As we have shown before, Microsoft typically employs AstroTurfers where laws are weaker and these practices can go on without punishment. Techrights was attacked by a paid Microsoft AstroTurfer from Singapore (he harasses other Web sites critical of his employer from Redmond) and Microsoft is very open about bribing hundreds of Korean bloggers to improve the image of Vista 7. In general, as we have shown before, Vista 7 coverage involved many small bribes. It also benefited from the many Microsoft boosters who present themselves as “journalists”.
“First one’s free!”
Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft Nick, and other Microsoft boosters like Paul Thurrott and Gavin Clarke are advertising an old marketing scheme where Microsoft gives time-limited copies of Vista 7 that ‘self-destruct’ and hold people’s data as hostage. Trial versions have no appeal to wise people, but some people are gullible enough to be persuaded by the proposition of something cheap in the short term. GNU/Linux is free to try and also to keep indefinitely, so why is Microsoft’s 90-day ‘free’ enterprise trial of any use? Microsoft might eventually be forced to give Windows away for free. This has already happened in sub-notebooks because of strong competition from GNU/Linux.
The aforementioned hostage situation is also being promoted by others [1, 2] who include Ina Fried acting as a Microsoft advertiser (talking to proper Microsoft advertisers) and hyping up an “upgrade deal”. This is also being hyped up by Microsoft Emil and a few others [1, 2] who sometimes provide evidence that Microsoft actively pressures Windows users to ‘upgrade’.
It’s impossible to know for sure, given Microsoft is continuing to decline to comment, but it’s looking like Windows Live Wave 4 — like Internet Explorer 9 — isn’t going to support Windows XP.
Another known Microsoft booster, Harry McCracken, is advertising for Microsoft ‘upgrades’ over at Fox ‘News’ and over at IDG he revisits the past. Ed Bott, who is another extension of Microsoft's staff, makes it seem like some kind of a new Microsoft campaign urging to leave XP and buy Vista 7. Those who participate in this shameless push are assisted by a new ‘study’ from Forrester, which Microsoft is routinely paying for studies (even to slam GNU/Linux [1, 2]).
Another survey gives the break-up of illegal software country-wise. These figures show that most of the software users are criminals or ‘Pirates,’ as Microsoft loves to call those who use their software illegally.
It’s funny that Microsoft also knows that it relies on those people, who it is trying to derive the choice of GNU/Linux.
Watch this Windows promotion from Ina Fried, one of Microsoft’s most prominent (yet shameless) boosters. The post has just one comment, coming from Andre Da Costa [1, 2, 3, 4] (he is there in the comments, using a pseudonym, “Mr. Dee”). For those who do not know, Microsoft rewarded this guy with gifts and an MVP title. Under this one pseudonym alone he has already left 1774 comments in CNET. Under normal circumstances, that would be just plain Microsoft AstroTurfing, but this chap also trolls other writers in CNET, particularly those who cover Free software. In sites like CNET and ZDNet they create this kind of “theatre” of Microsoft-sympathetic people.
“The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had “retired” from Microsoft last week.
“”A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee’s to post to ZDNet articles like this one,” the email said.
“”The theme is ‘Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.’ The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The ‘memo’ suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students,” the author claimed.”
CNET keeps adding Microsoft people as writers, such as Microsoft analysts that we have shown before. And now there is also Lance Whitney, who says he’s “a contributing editor for Microsoft TechNet Magazine and writes for other computer publications and Web sites.” Over at NewsWeek it’s just as bad, with the likes of Daniel Lyons [1, 2] attacking Microsoft’s rivals and boosting Vista 7. These publications’ selection process is obviously flawed. Identity hijackers have no room in serious magazines and writers seem to be appointed based on advertisers. █
* Google News search is being used as a reference.
“People everywhere love Windows.”