02.07.15

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Parasitical Firms Like Black Duck Exploit Bugs With Branding to Market Nonfree Services/Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Security at 4:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Skulls

Summary: Parasites that take advantage of public panic and lack of comprehension are occupying paper space, as usual

LAST WEEK we wrote about the overblown threat called/dubbed “GHOST” (all capital letters) by the company seeking to make money from it despite being only the third to discover it and knowing it was not much of a big deal. We have not yet heard about any major exploit, which pretty much can be said about the OpenSSL bug as well (this one too was discovered by two entities before a Microsoft-connected firm irresponsibly publicised it, giving it a name and a logo to sell its own services and spread FOSS-hostile FUD for many months to come). What unifies the GLibC and OpenSSL bugs is that they got “brand recognition” very quickly. It was like a marketing campaign rather than a non-alarmist discussion about security — something that non-technical/technically-illiterate journalists would surely fail at.

“As more stories are published in the media about big “hacks” (cracks) against large corporations we can’t help but feel that the media neglects to mention that Microsoft Windows — not OpenSSL or Bash, let alone GLibC — is usually to blame.”Days ago we saw the most FOSS-hostile IDG Web site becoming a platform of Black Duck, a Microsoft-connected firm that sells proprietary software by spreading and accentuating fear of FOSS. The article at hand uses bugs with “branding” to spook FOSS users while Black Duck, paying to publish this self-promotional press release on the same day, is still pretending to be an authority in FOSS.

The bugs with “branding” were also exploited by Veracode in this article (on the same day) and as Eric Lorenzo pointed out: “If businesses don’t update legacy software, often they will will have bugs fixed in later versions! Shock!”

“I wonder what percentage of businesses are using obsolete Windows without updates,” he added.

As more stories are published in the media about big “hacks” (cracks) against large corporations we can’t help but feel that the media neglects to mention that Microsoft Windows — not OpenSSL or Bash, let alone GLibC — is usually to blame. It not only sports back doors but is also badly designed and won't patch known critical holes. It is basically designed to be not secure.

When it comes to reporting on computer security, the corporate press has almost zero legitimacy. All it knows is brands and it is eager to promote corporate partners that piggyback those brands (like “heartbleed”) or stories (Anthem, Sony, etc.), claiming to be experts and offering remedies other than patches which were already issued and are free to apply by all.

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