01.13.15

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Microsoft’s Strategy for Dealing With Back Doors: Blame Google

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 12:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Closed doors keep the back doors out of sight and resistant to change

Closed doors

Summary: Microsoft willingly leaves Windows users exposed to costly attacks and surveillance, but its propaganda blames the messenger that warned Microsoft about the problem 3 months ago

BASED on Microsoft’s own actions, the company is not at all interested in security and as we last noted the other day, the company is now pulling out of (withdrawing) notifications of back doors, except for the NSA. One might guess this would appease British Prime Minister Cameron, who now openly calls for back doors in everything and a ban on everything without back doors, but will this appease the rest of us, including journalists (never mind banks) who require encryption for secure communication? We have put some related articles in our daily links for those who wish to know more.

“One might guess this would appease British Prime Minister Cameron, who now openly calls for back doors in everything and a ban on everything without back doors, but will this appease the rest of us, including journalists (never mind banks) who require encryption for secure communication?”For those who missed last week’s news, here is what the British press wrote: “MICROSOFT HAS ESCHEWED the first Update Tuesday, or ‘Patch Tuesday’, Advance Notification of the year to announce that it is killing off the Advance Notification Service (ANS) for the general public and, as such, from next month there will be no Advance Notification.”

This basically means that while the NSA, GCHQ etc. know about back doors (or bug doors) that are not patched, the rest of us will know nothing. Since it is secret proprietary code, there is nothing that can be done about it either.

Earlier this month there were also report about Microsoft knowingly failing to patch a serious Windows flaw. It took Microsoft 3 months to actually do anything and when it did do something it was after Google had forced it to. It was Google that originally told Microsoft about this flaw 3 months ago. Here is what a reader of ours insists on calling “Microsoft apologists” wrote about it. They basically blame it all on Google rather than chastise Microsoft for leaving a lot of Windows users vulnerable due to Microsoft’s own laziness. It is worth emphasising that “the problem was not fixed within 90 days.” That’s how much of a priority security is to Microsoft.

Amid the calls for encryption bans in the UK it is clear that everyone who cares about privacy should move to Free software. Software freedom is imperative for privacy because only when the code is free can one be sure there are no back doors and also remove any that exist. Proprietary software exercises unjust power and control over its user, as Richard Stallman said all along, and the calls to ban encryption in the UK reinforce Stallman’s views. Microsoft’s negligence and reluctance to patch known flaws which are very serious also prove Stallman’s point to be valid. It is almost as though Microsoft actually chose to leave users exposed. Remember that the so-called ‘Sony hack’ was due to use of Microsoft Windows, based on numerous reliable reports. Also remember that about half a decade ago Google prevented its staff from using Windows. That was due to recognition that Windows was Swiss cheese when it comes to security.

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A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 14, 2015 at 6:11 am

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    The problems were not fixed in 90 days, basically three full months. In one instance there M$ whined about needing another 2 days. But if they can’t fix the problem in 90 days they won’t be able to fix it in 92 either, so that was about seeing if Google would fold. If Google had folded over 2 days, then the next time M$ would push for a week, then a month, then a full quarter, and so on.

    M$ has never, ever been about fixing bugs in a timely or effective manner. It’s not about to start. Heck, much of the time they push out a patch it does some combination of not fixing the original flaw, introducing additional bugs, and changing unrelated licensing or behavior.

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