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

10.07.10

Return of Charney’s Lunacy and Latest BBC Propaganda: Microsoft Will Save the World From Insecure “Computers”

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 2:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Security diagram

Summary: Microsoft’s Charney, whom the monopolist hired from the US DOJ (U.S. Department of Justice), is getting a lobby boost from incompetent press; a quick look at Microsoft’s very distinct security failures as of late

HERE they go again. Microsoft spin is being used repeatedly to describe the cause of great trouble (Microsoft) as an heroic rescuer and what better platform to distribute this spin than the MSBBC, which a lot of people perceive as trustworthy even though it’s run by many former managers of Microsoft UK. The type of spin we see here is akin to the recent Russian spin [1, 2] (Microsoft as a friends of NGOs rather than the enemy) and going back almost a couple of years we find a more similar example in Conficker. Microsoft was not only a cause but also the party which benefited financially from Conficker; in order to spin it all, Microsoft pretended that it was hunting down the ‘real’ culprit and offered a generous bounty. The mainstream press fell for it and then used Conficker to portray Microsoft is the defender against “computer viruses”. Here is some of our old Conficker coverage:

It was only last month that we saw Microsoft claiming credit for failing in security. Are journalists really so genuinely incapable of thinking? Why is spin being put in print so often? Why is the MSBBC, which British taxpayers pay for, playing along with this PR lunacy? It takes a lot of nerve to take this latest post from Microsoft’s lobbying blog (written by someone whom Microsoft hired from the government) and turn it into a widely damned article which is titled “Sick PCs should be banned from the net says Microsoft”. To quote some bits:

Virus-infected computers that pose a risk to other PCs should be blocked from the net, a senior researcher at software giant Microsoft suggests.

The proposal is based on lessons from public health, said Scott Charney of the firm’s trustworthy computing team.

[...]

Networks can consist of a few hundred to a few thousand Windows machines. However, some can contain millions of PCs.

It may seem like they call out Windows, but the article as a whole is just a platform for Microsoft’s Charney to push forward his crazy plan of charging taxpayers to make up for Microsoft’s negligence [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. While BBC got all the flak, there are other British articles on the same subject (e.g. [1, 2]) and Pogson responded quite sarcastically:

Amen! That’s about 60% of PCs that should have GNU/Linux installed ASAP. That would really put a dent in spam and DDOS etc. We could direct out-going requests from zombies to http://goodbye-microsoft.com until they start showing better User-Agents. Would the zombie-masters start shipping false User-Agents? Sigh. Well. It was just a thought… I suppose M$ will prefer to sell a product that certifies a clean installation of their OS.

Simon Phipps was among those who slammed for the BBC for an awful article and Carlo Piana, a lawyer who favours software freedom and no software patents (yes, there are some good lawyers out there), chatted about it as follows:

Phipps: “Another lame BBC story about malware omits that it’s pretty much all a Windows problem (& worse, hypes Microsoft)”

Piana: ” but read: “There may be some who would say that MSFT shouldn’t be on the internet until they get their own house in order”–Sophos”

Phipps: “I didn’t feel that was a clear enough caveat to the general reader – just sounded snarky.”

Piana: “yes, it was a poor example of journalism anyway and spinned too much in the wrong direction.”

Last night in IRC, Chips B. Malroy wrote: “Let me explain why I am against this. It would impose a malware test on all computers before hooking up to the Internet, even those who do not have the security problems of Windows.

“Should we assume that the ISP’s will do the ‘test.’ or will be be homeland security. Somebody has to scan your computer and this poses privacy problems as well. Since MS is admitting failure to protect computers (see first paragraph quoted) then MS should not be given this power.”

“I have the perfect solution, just ban Windows,” responded cubevector, “simple and effective :)

“A plan from MS, after they already admit to not being able to protect users computers. Why should we trust them with this power? And you just know they will abuse it in an entirely monopolistic unethical way as well,” Malroy expounded.

“[D]on’t you think MS wants the power to scan your Linux computer for ‘viruses’ as well and shut you down too? Somehow, if MS got that power, I think they would have some sort of glitch and you and other Linux users would be banned from the internet.”

cubevector replied by saying “my ISP runs Linux… kind of hard to ban Linux machines then” and Malroy ended by claiming; “We should be concerned with what MS does, they do it not as a courtesy but for a reason” (of course, they have shareholders).

“Canada Will Spend Peanuts on Cyber-Security” says this headline from Pogson, who resides in Canada just like cubevector. GNU/Linux seems to him like a good solution in this case:

If they really want to increase governmental security, they should plunk for GNU/Linux on desktop and server. The savings on licence fees will go a ways toward securing the system and that is way more than $3.5 million.

Glyn Moody has quickly crafted this wonderful response to Microsoft — a blog post which he shrewdly titled “Dr Microsoft: Time to Be Struck Off” (“Doctor” because Microsoft/BBC calls some PCs “sick” rather than mention the operating system).

So, we’re talking about computers “compromised with a bot”: now, which ones might they be? Oh look, that would be almost exclusively Windows users. And why would that be? Because no matter how diligent users are in installing endless security updates to the Swiss cheese-like applications known as Windows, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office, there are always more critical bugs that pop out of the proverbial digital woodwork to lay them open to attack and subversion.

[...]

For a researcher at Microsoft to attempt to avoid this inevitable conclusion by pushing the blame for this endless series of security lapses onto end users this way, and to suggest they, rather than Microsoft, should be thrown into the outer darkness. is beyond pathetic.

In other news relating to security, Slashdot is one among many Web sites that disappointingly blame Android for behaviour of applications which merely run on Android. Slashdot‘s own founder went with the headline “Many More Android Apps Leaking User Data” which is interesting because when it’s “Windows apps” they say nothing about Windows; they usually just say something like “it’s a bad app” or “malware” and assume the reader knows it’s about Windows. Generally speaking, In the trade press, a Solaris bug is described as a “Solaris bug”, a Linux flaw is described as a “Linux flaw”, and a Windows virus is described as just a “computer virus”. It’s unjust as it is an unequal treatment which does not help buyers of computers understand the role of operating systems in security.

Only days ago we learned that Microsoft is issuing yet another emergency patch and the “flaw potentially affects millions of web applications and has been used in attacks already. The patch will fix the flaw in all versions of the .NET framework.”

We wrote about this in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It’s an ASP.NET problem and here are some of the latest articles about it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

The Free software-hostile company [1, 2] known as Trend Micro is habitually mentioned in such articles right now and there are other security risks which only affect Windows even though writers neglect to say so (see [1, 2] for example). A Twitter.com flaw too turns out to be an Internet Explorer-only (and thus Windows-only) problem and few articles bothered to point this out. Here is one which did:

IE ‘Twitter rolling’ attack trivial to launch

[...]

An information disclosure threat in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer affects all supported versions of the browser and, among other things, makes it trivial for attackers to force victims to post attacker-dictated messages on Twitter, a security researcher said this week.

The “Twitter-rolling” attack, which was first described last month, is the result of the way the browser parses CSS, or cascading style sheets, security researcher Chris Evans said. In an update posted on Wednesday, he demonstrated just how easy it is to exploit the flaw and said that “Microsoft have not stated when users of IE6, IE7, and IE8 will be afforded protection.”

How can Microsoft honestly pretend that all operating systems are equally unsecured. In recent weeks we have been hearing about Zeus affecting and infecting millions of Windows users [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and over 80 people are now being arrested rather than the flaw/s they exploited being fixed. It does nothing to prevent other people from doing just what they did. Those arrests which are reported mostly in the UK [1, 2, 3] address the wrong issue by going after the exploiter rather than the negligent party which is responsible for making it all possible, whether by design or through negligence (it should not matter much). “Zeus Trojan Arrests Show Cybercriminals Getting More Vulnerable” says this one headline, but cybercrime should be solved by hardening software, not by calling the police. It just does not scale and it’s extremely expensive (also to the public which covers these costs).

The damage can, at times, be much greater, especially if Windows flaws lead to nuclear warfare or famine. From India, where food is highly essential and less abundant than in other countries, we now learn that “Operations were shutdown for nearly 5 hours in “More” [food] retail outlets because of virus/bug/failure in Microsoft windows”. The site says:

Apart from a large range of national brands, shoppers will also find a section called the Best of India, which is an assortment of unique products sourced from across India.

Well, too bad Windows flaws put that food out of reach for almost 5 hours, eh? This is the type of thing that can happen in all stores under conditions of war. It is far too risky to put one’s weapons or food (human energy) in the hands of some overseas company with absolute control over the code. Bruce Schneier has finally gotten around to writing this long article about Stuxnet. He does not rule out the possibility that Stuxnet was crafted very much for a specific purpose.

Stuxnet was expensive to create. Estimates are that it took 8 to 10 people six months to write. There’s also the lab setup–surely any organization that goes to all this trouble would test the thing before releasing it–and the intelligence gathering to know exactly how to target it. Additionally, zero-day exploits are valuable. They’re hard to find, and they can only be used once. Whoever wrote Stuxnet was willing to spend a lot of money to ensure that whatever job it was intended to do would be done.

For more information we shared about Stuxnet, see the links below. Who is Microsoft to label PCs “sick”?

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. Courts Are Losing Patience for Gilstrap's Unbridled Support of Patent Trolls

    The man whose court has become a trolling ‘factory’ is being refuted (but not reprimanded) by the CAFC, which certainly can see that something is amiss and serves to discredit the system as a whole



  2. Intellectual Ventures, GNU/Linux/Android/FOSS Patents, and the Ascent of European Patent Trolls

    The existing status of GNU/Linux in a world full of patent trolls, which not only target OEMs from Asia -- typically in the US -- but are also dragging them into Europe, aided by the EPO's 'patent bubble'



  3. Shelston IP Blames “Well-Organised and Appropriately-Connected Open Source Lobby” for Ban on Software Patents

    The activism is working and foes of programmers are feeling the pressure, for software patents are being more explicitly banned in some countries



  4. The EPO's Latest Lies About the UPC and SMEs Unraveled, Long-Term Plan Described as Daunting

    The vision of Battistelli and the latest lies (about SMEs) are being criticised anonymously -- for fear of retaliation -- as Europe braces for impact with patent trolls from all around the world



  5. In an Effort to Push the Unitary Patent (UPC), EPO and the Liar in Chief Spread the Famous Lie About SMEs

    The EPO wants people to hear just a bunch of lies rather than the simple truth, courtesy of the people whom the EPO proclaims it represents



  6. Links 21/9/2017: Red Hat's Open Source Patent Promise; Qt 5.6.3, Kali Linux 2017.2 Release

    Links for the day



  7. East Asia's Patent Peril and the Curse of Patent Trolls

    The high cost of China's new obsession with patents and the never-ending saga of Samsung (Korea), which gets dragged into courts not only in the US but also in China



  8. USPTO Starts Discriminating Against Poor People, and Does So Even When They Rightly Point Out Errors

    Even though the burden of proof ought to be on one who grants a monopoly, the legal costs are being offloaded onto those who challenge an erroneously-granted monopoly (even if the court sides with the challenger)



  9. Ambrose Chan Enters Document Security Systems (DSS), a Partly Patent Troll Entity

    The Board of Directors of DSS enlists a man from Singapore, whose lack of technical background suggests that the company is still more of a bully than an innovator



  10. UPC Threatens to Weaponise Software Patents in Countries That Forbade These

    The reality of software patents in Europe and what a Unified Patent Court (UPC) would mean for these if it ever became a reality



  11. The Latest Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and CIPO's Participation in Those

    Team UPC continues to overplay its chances, conveniently ignoring simple facts as well as the Rule of Law



  12. The Patents Policy of Facebook is Causing an Exodus

    Yet another major player walks away from Facebook's code because of software patents



  13. Links 20/9/2017: Wine Staging 2.17, Randa 2017, Redox OS 0.3.3

    Links for the day



  14. When Google Used Alex Converse to Raid the Public Domain With Software Patents

    In its overzealous pursuit of software patents, Google is now turning public domain methods into private 'property' (in defiance of critics)



  15. Mark Kokes, the Man Behind BlackBerry's Patent Aggression, Leaves the Company

    The man behind the patent troll-like behaviour of BlackBerry is leaving



  16. WordPress Demonstrates That Facebook's Patent Strategy is Deterring/Alienating Developers

    React is being dumped following Facebook's attempt to restrict distribution/derivatives using software patents



  17. Links 19/9/2017: Pipewire, Mir Support for Wayland, DRM in W3C

    Links for the day



  18. Links 18/9/2017: Linux 4.14 RC1, Mesa 17.2.1, and GNOME 3.26 on Ubuntu Artful

    Links for the day



  19. Patent Trolls Update: Eolas, Conversant (MOSAID), Leigh Rothschild, and Electronic Communication Technologies

    Patent trolls are still being watched -- as they ought to be -- even though some of them shy away, hide from the media, engage in dirty tricks, and file more lawsuits



  20. Microsoft is Promoting Software Patents in India in Another Effort to Undermine Free/Open Source Software, Microsoft-Connected Trolls Are Still Suing

    The ongoing patent threat to Free/libre Open Source software (FLOSS) and the role played by Microsoft in at least much of this threat



  21. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Under Attack by IBM and Other Patent Parasites Who Undermine Patent Quality

    The PTAB, which has thus far invalidated thousands of abstract/software patents, is under a coordinated attack not by those who produce things but those who produce a lot of lawsuit



  22. Why the Mohawk Tribe Should Fire Its Lawyers and Dump the Patents Which Now Tarnish Its Name

    In order to dodge the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) with its Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs), the Mohawk tribe is being exploited -- very much in direct detriment to its reputation and status



  23. Amazon and Google Have Both Become Part of the Software Patents Problem

    The transition from so-called 'defensive' patents to offensive patents (ones that are used to suppress competition) as seen in Amazon and in Google, which is already suing rivals and is pursuing additional patents by acquisition



  24. Unless Physical, Inventions Are No Longer Patent-Eligible in US Courts, But USPTO Ignores Precedence

    Even though the ability to enforce software patents against a rival (or many targets, especially in the case of patent trolls) is vastly diminished, the US patent office continues to grant these



  25. Citing the European Patent Convention, Spanish Court Tosses Lawsuit With EPO-Granted European Patent

    The quality of European Patents (EPs) -- a subject of growing levels of scrutiny -- as demonstrated in Barcelona this summer



  26. Links 16/9/2017: More of “Public Money, Public Code”, Equifax Failed to Patch for Months

    Links for the day



  27. BlackBerry Has Turned Into a Patents and Licensing Company

    The Canadian company that made fairly reputable phones early in this century is left with nothing but the power to sue other companies -- a power to which it increasingly gravitates



  28. European Patent Office Continues to Paint a Rosy UPC Picture Even Though the UPC May Already be Dead

    The European Patent Office (EPO) doesn't let facts get in the way as another week passes with UPC promotion and further staff repressions



  29. Tax Evasion by Patent Boxes and Lies About Small Businesses (SMEs) in the Corporate Media

    The lobbying effort of the patent 'industry' -- and its largest beneficiaries -- paints its own perks as something that's intended for their small/minuscule competitors (whom they actually attempt to misrepresent and crush)



  30. Links 15/9/2017: Mesa 17.2.1 RC, Wine 2.17, WordPress to Ditch React Over Patents

    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