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

10.18.10

Security Propaganda From Microsoft: Villains Become Heroes

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 3:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Robin Hood

Summary: A survey of security news and an analysis of Microsoft spin, namely how the company diverts attention away from its failures and portrays itself as a security leader

YESTERDAY we caught up with 3 weeks of Microsoft (in)security news, adding to our record more evidence to show what we had argued earlier this month. While the former Microsoft executives who now run Juniper Networks help protect Windows from those many vulnerabilities (some of which are hidden), there is no denying of the fact that Windows vulnerabilities are on the rise [1, 2]. To highlight bits from the news, vulnerabilities multiply fast and they are found by the dozens:

VUPEN Security Discovers Critical Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Software

VUPEN Security, the world leader in vulnerability research and analysis, today announced that the VUPEN Vulnerability Research Team (VRT) has been working with Microsoft for six months to address twenty-one vulnerabilities discovered by VUPEN in major Microsoft software.

Also in the news:

Windows full of holes, ready for Microsoft patch

In case you were wondering, the previous record was 34 in late 2009, which makes the number 49 seem even bigger. You have to wonder if we are getting better or worse about this security thing.

Microsoft Issues Biggest Fix Ever For Windows, Explorer, Office

Microsoft releases security patches for Windows, IE, Office

Microsoft will roll out a whopper load of patches

Microsoft Preps Record Security Patch Tuesday

Microsoft Patch Tuesday expected to set record

Microsoft’s Biggest Patch Tuesday Ever — Better Update Your System, or Else

Microsoft sets Patch Tuesday record, fixing 49 security holes

Microsoft issues patches for a record 49 security holes

Patch Tuesday brings record harvest of security fixes

As that last one puts it: “Many of these holes allow a remote takeover of your computer, in some cases after you do nothing wrong beside visit the wrong Web page. One such opening has frequently been exploited by the Stuxnet worm that’s been running around the world.”

Microsoft has only just done something about Stuxnet, which we wrote about in:

  1. Ralph Langner Says Windows Malware Possibly Designed to Derail Iran’s Nuclear Programme
  2. Windows Viruses Can be Politically Motivated Sometimes
  3. Who Needs Windows Back Doors When It’s So Insecure?
  4. Windows Insecurity Becomes a Political Issue
  5. Windows, Stuxnet, and Public Stoning
  6. Stuxnet Grows Beyond Siemens-Windows Infections
  7. Has BP Already Abandoned Windows?
  8. Reports: Apple to Charge for (Security) Updates
  9. Windows Viruses Can be Politically Motivated Sometimes
  10. New Flaw in Windows Facilitates More DDOS Attacks
  11. Siemens is Bad for Industry, Partly Due to Microsoft
  12. Microsoft Security Issues in The British Press, Vista and Vista 7 No Panacea
  13. Microsoft’s Negligence in Patching (Worst Amongst All Companies) to Blame for Stuxnet
  14. Microsoft Software: a Darwin Test for Incompetence
  15. Bad September for Microsoft Security, Symantec Buyout Rumours
  16. Microsoft Claims Credit for Failing in Security
  17. Many Windows Servers Being Abandoned; Minnesota Goes the Opposite Direction by Giving Microsoft Its Data
  18. Windows Users Still Under Attack From Stuxnet, Halo, and Zeus

Now, any sane person would say that Microsoft and almost nobody else is to blame for these vulnerabilities and should therefore be held accountable. But not when Microsoft’s spin machine occupies the news, though. Take the Bill Gates-funded Guardian [1, 2, 3, 4] for example. It serves as Microsoft’s platform right now by publishing “Microsoft Removed 6.5 Million Bots From Windows Machines In Q2″ and it’s the same propaganda the MSBBC published some days ago, having previously (just a week beforehand) given Microsoft's Charney the platform yet again. It’s rather astonishing that journalists are able to portray Microsoft as the “good guy” in this story by merely reciting reports from Microsoft. It’s an example of the failure of today’s journalism and it’s hard to tell just how much impact the former Microsoft UK executives who run the BBC or Bill Gates’ sponsorship of The Guardian have here. A few hours ago our reader told us that “Bill Gates on BBC breakfast news later.” Later this week we’ll write about that too.

“It’s rather astonishing that journalists are able to portray Microsoft as the “good guy” in this story by merely reciting reports from Microsoft.”Anyway, here is a rant about what Microsoft is trying to do here and here are a few more examples of the Microsoft spin [1, 2, 3]. So fake news is good news? It should not be the case. Either way, it’s clear that they portray Microsoft as the saviour, not the culprit, even though the problem itself was caused by Microsoft’s continued negligence [1, 2, 3]. Earlier this morning we gave an example of similar spin. Here is the same propaganda with a “Zeus” flavour [1, 2]. The latter says that “Zeus-created botnets, known as Zbots, control many millions of computers — mostly Windows XP machines — in almost 200 countries.” Okay, so why give Microsoft any credit? That’s just mastery of spin. We wrote about Zeus in posts such as [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Watch out for the spin, some of which originates in the ‘Microsoft press’ (e.g. Kurt Mackie). As usual, Microsoft will just blame the users, even though zero-day flaws mean that any Windows computer can be hijacked even if it’s fully patched. As for those who patch early, they take other types of risks and this bit of news is why people are reluctant to patch:

On Tuesday, Microsoft released updates for both Microsoft Office 2004 and 2008 to correct some security vulnerabilities in the software, but a number of people are having difficulties opening some Excel spreadsheets in Office 2004 after the update.

As mentioned by CNET member and MacFixIt reader Kurt in the comments of our article announcing the update:

“After applying the update yesterday, some Excel documents refuse to open. For a fraction of a second the open progress bar shows up, then nothing happens.”

This problem has been echoed by numerous other Office users here at CNET as well as at the Office for Mac forums, and Microsoft’s Mac team is currently investigating the issue.

Yes, that’s why many people won’t patch, either. Even those whose machine is not fully patched can sometimes blame Microsoft’s poor quality of patches.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

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

2 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    October 18, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft’s efforts are sort of like tobacco companies telling cancer patients that their favorite cigarette has been reformulated and should be safe to use if their local doctor can cure them by some inadequate surgery. The main difference is that there’s a better link between Windows and malware than the near certainty of cancer after smoking. It’s no wonder that Bill Gates invests in tobacco now.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    He also pretends to fight against smoking. There’s a conflict there.

What Else is New


  1. Links 8/7/2020: SUSE to Acquire Rancher Labs, Btrfs as Default in Fedora, Qt Creator 4.12.4

    Links for the day



  2. Yes, Master

    When the Linux Foundation tells us to tone down our language we ought to remember what kind of hypocritical stance these people have (note: the above have nothing to do with slavery, either)



  3. Fraunhofer is Again Evergreening Software Patents to Maintain Its Codecs Cartel, Forcing Everyone to Pay to View/Stream Multimedia Files

    The roller-coaster of software patents on multimedia isn't stopping; we know the culprits who can be named for perpetuating this injustice



  4. [Humour/Meme] Focusing on the Bombings and Who's Included in the Bombings

    Supremacist agenda disguised as "tolerant and inclusive" is still objectionable supremacist agenda



  5. Manners Are a Good Thing. The Yardstick or the Standard of Manners Changes Over Time.

    Entirely legitimate grievances of African-Americans are being exploited by people who aren’t even African-American (and usually don’t speak for African-Americans) to warp the debate from one about software ethics and technical issues, not to mention war crimes of companies that employ many programmers, to something which is unlikely to really help African-Americans (also, they don't employ any African-Americans)



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 07, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 07, 2020



  7. Links 8/7/2020: Huawei’s GNU/Linux PC, Sparky 5.12, and Endless OS 3.8.4 Released

    Links for the day



  8. [Humour] Television Channels That Don't Speak of Real Looting But Participate in Looting

    People may need to look beyond (or outside) the television screen to grasp what's going on



  9. (Software) Freedom is Elusive Without the Ability to Concentrate

    Software is consuming people's minds; to make matters worse, people have become so attached to such software that they're unable to see it and get away from it (they associate that software with "social life")



  10. Monopolies Erode Freedom, Freedom Erodes Monopolies

    "There are so many reasons that GitHub makes projects less free."



  11. Links 7/7/2020: NomadBSD 1.3.2, Clonezilla Live 2.6.7 and DRM Comes to Cars

    Links for the day



  12. [Humour] IAM Ranked Top for Quality of EPO Propaganda

    Contrary to what the European Patent Office (EPO) keeps saying, patent quality is slipping very fast in Europe (based on the EPO's own analysis!) but patent trolls-funded publishers deny that



  13. When They're Done With Patents on Foods and Recipes They'll Have Patents on Fashion, Taste and Smell

    The mental dysfunction — an infectious condition — that says everything in the world must be patented should be resisted; it overlooks the fact that patents were introduced to protect/promote actual invention, not thoughts, feelings, nature and art



  14. [Humour/Meme] IBM's Money is Unhealthy to the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    IBM will never be happy as long as RMS (Richard Stallman) has a say in the FSF — directly or indirectly — or even in the GNU Project, both of which he himself created back when IBM was the biggest monopolist



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 06, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, July 06, 2020



  16. Never Let IBM/Red Hat Lecture Us on Morality

    Ethics and morality should not be taught by those who themselves need a lesson; in the meantime we're losing the courage to speak freely and those who commit atrocious acts like it a lot better that way



  17. [Humour/Meme] Wear the Red Hat as the Open Org Becomes Openwash

    IBM is changing Red Hat and not for the better; sooner or later IBM will become another Microsoft and changing from one to the other will be like swapping 'masters'



  18. IBM is Imposing Non-Free, Privacy-Infringing Tools and Patent Tolls on Red Hat Staff

    There are signs that Red Hat under IBM will be more like assimilation to IBM, not IBM assimilating to the 'Red Hat way' or the so-called 'open org'



  19. They Tell the Free Software Community That It is Racist While Saying Nothing at All About Trump's Racism (Because He Gives Them Government and Military Contracts)

    While their president compares 'foreign' people to a virus (using innuendo, dog whistles and racist rhetoric reminiscent of the Nazi era) the big US corporations (American surveillance giants) turn their attention to rather innocuous words inside people's code (which almost nobody sees anyway)



  20. LibreOffice 'Personal Edition' Seems Like a Marketing and Communication Fluke

    Had LibreOffice developers (and the Document Foundation) communicated these changes more openly, they would have averted/avoided some of the FUD



  21. It Almost Feels Like Microsoft Has Already 'Bought' Canonical

    Canonical's disturbing trajectory and betrayal of the community continue unabated; one can easily get the impression that Ubuntu exists to help Microsoft at some level



  22. Update to GNU Project Bleeding into Microsoft

    Update



  23. Microsoft is Going to Get Tired of Whining About “GAFA” and Accept That It's Just as Bad If Not a Lot Worse at Privacy

    Microsoft is being treated by the US government as if it's not abusing anything, let alone people's privacy; if anything, this demonstrates the degree to which Microsoft infiltrated or 'vendor-captured' regulatory branches



  24. Links 6/7/2020: LibreOffice 7.0 RC1, MX-19.2 KDE Beta 1, Linux 5.8 RC4

    Links for the day



  25. ZDNet's 'Linux' Section: Linux is Full of Problems and It Loves/Embraces Software Patents

    Software patents promotion and GNU/Linux FUD; your daily dosage of 'news' from the tabloid known as ZDNet...



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, July 05, 2020



  27. Links 5/7/2020: Slackel 7.3 Mate Beta and GNOME Gingerblue

    Links for the day



  28. Technological Progress? Only If We Assume The Wrong Things...

    When we're told that we're all dumb we're being given increasingly dumb technology (and they tell us dumber is better)



  29. Linux Foundation Still Owned and Controlled Largely -- and More Over Time -- by Surveillance Companies (Openwashing Services for Bad Practices and Bad Actors)

    The Linux Foundation‘s growing role in spying or the focus on data-mining operations is an eternal reminder or warning that the Foundation follows power and money, not freedom or ethics (it began as a salary-paying venture, crowdfunding among large corporations which conduct mass surveillance)



  30. Sharing is Caring, as Those Who Share Usually Care

    Going back to our human roots, people who cooperate and collaborate are vastly more likely to survive and thrive; Free software is almost guaranteed to become the norm when/once everyone demands it (proprietary software is too divisive, supremacist and even racist)


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