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

08.10.15

Microsoft is Turning All of Windows (Not Just Vista 10) Into Malware, Turning Networks Into Botnets, Harvesting Sensitive Data Everywhere

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 3:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Officially becoming a malware company, expanding beyond patent racketeering and political blackmail

A grave
The Microsoft apologists insist that privacy is dead, giving Microsoft the carte blanche

Summary: The villainous side of Microsoft comes out more bluntly, as any regard for privacy is dismissed as irrelevant, private networks are becoming Microsoft’s playground, Windows silently but remotely gains more malicious antifeatures (with the hallmark of espionage), and the same rogue operations are extended to Android and GNU/Linux (if Microsoft can gain a foothold there)

THE TERM “Vista 10″ has been catching on (many people use it now) and the wiki page for Vista 10 has had nearly 3,000 page views since Vista 10 was released (that’s when the page was first set up). Since then we have seen GNU/Linux-centric authors writing about Vista 10 (there are two examples today [1, 2]), but we don’t see what the big deal is. Here in Techrights, having accumulated data over the past 8 days, only 0.7% of visitors used Vista 10 (we checked the back end, which strictly retains logs for no longer than 4 weeks) and some other Web-wide surveys put it at around 3%, contradicting popular lies about adoption rates of this seemingly gratis ‘upgrade’. Vista 10 is a huge disappointment for Microsoft, but the company will never publicly admit it (we know what people from the inside, i.e. Microsoft employees, think because we confidentially hear from some). There is a massive budget dedicated to manufacturing bogus (sometimes pre-prepared or ghostwritten by agencies) ‘reviews’ and praises of Vista 10. It’s peaking right now, so it may take some time for the ‘hangover’ (real users’ feedback) to truly show up and dominate the Web. It was the same when Vista 8 was released, never to be widely adopted at all, just loathed (the boss got fired, too).

“There is a massive budget dedicated to manufacturing bogus (sometimes pre-prepared or ghostwritten by agencies) ‘reviews’ and praises of Vista 10.”Today’s article is not a rant about Vista 10 but a survey of recent revelations and key articles, as opposed to puff pieces (there are plenty of those because the release is relatively recent, meaning that the marketing budget has not been exhausted just yet). As we are going to show, Microsoft is seemingly coordinating a response to criticism, almost as if it sends talking points or memos to ‘buddies’ in order to confuse the public and berate critics.

Microsoft Abuse

Several authors (Linux-centric people on the Web) told me that they get abused for criticising Vista 10 and I too received many personal insults, none of which address anything that I wrote but instead are an attack on character. These come from people whom I never heard from or heard about. Remember that Microsoft recently got caught paying for abusive AstroTurfing of this kind (planting comments). Showing the ‘smoking guns’ is hard unless whistleblowers come out (as some recently did, acknowledging that Microsoft pays them to game Reddit).

Microsoft Crowd Says Privacy is Dead

We kindly ask readers to inform us if they see the following rather terrible ‘damage control’ from Microsoft. Here is Microsoft’s response to allegations over privacy violations. It goes along the lines of, “if they ask, we give. Erk. In the post-Snowden era, that’s going to put a few noses out of joint.”

Microsoft has done absolutely nothing to deny that it seriously violates privacy. That is far too well documented to deny. What we have found, however, is diversion tactics. Here is a Microsoft/MSN-connected site (also “Microsoft apologists,” according to iophk) responding with shameless spin, claiming “The inevitable death of privacy” (Microsoft apologists and employees use the same kind of excuse habitually).

Microsoft Peter reads from the same memo, apparently, as his best defence was his ludicrous headline “Windows 10’s privacy policy is the new normal”. Well, maybe if you pretend that BSD and GNU/Linux don’t exist!

“We have strong reasons to suspect there’s behind-the-scenes coordination here.”Notice the pattern and spot the party line. Microsoft is basically heralding the death of privacy as if this alone will make its own attacks on privacy any more acceptable. We ask readers to post a comment if they see more of this and share information about where it comes from. We have strong reasons to suspect there’s behind-the-scenes coordination here. We saw that back in the Vista days.

Security Not Guarded, Only Mocked, Stampeded

The other day The Register asked: “Are you a Windows 10 converts responsible for young computer users? Be on your guard. Child-friendly Family Features from Windows 7 and 8 won’t be recognised or accepted in the new operating system.”

It’s hardly a surprise. Based on feedback we see on the Web, many people complain about anything-but-smooth an ‘upgrade’ process.

As we pointed out the other day, installing Vista 10 turns one's PC into part of a botnet (Windows Update, which cannot be blocked). The Microsoft-operated botnet is clearly out of control, or out of the scope of what’s legal (not that Microsoft believes laws can be enforced against it, ever). It’s also a massive security breach. “Windows 10 commandeers users’ upload bandwidth,” said the headline of this IDG article, composed by a Microsoft critic. “Windows 10 is FORCING ITSELF onto domain happy Windows 7 PCs,” said this article from The Register. Is this even legal? “Windows 7 PCs are being force fed a diet of Windows 10, breaking a promise made by Microsoft,” says the author. “The problem is affecting domain-attached Windows 7 PCs not signed up to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) for patches and updates, but looking for a Microsoft update instead.

“Based on feedback we see on the Web, many people complain about anything-but-smooth an ‘upgrade’ process.”“The upshot is PCs, ranging from 10s to hundreds at a time, simultaneously chowing down on the 3GB-plus Windows 10 load, killing business networks.

“The problem began showing up on Monday with complaints beginning to notch up online.”

Vista 7 and 8 Silently Turned (Modified) Into Malware

“And now they are adding the tracking and telemetry to Win 7 and 8 in updates,” pointed out one person to me last week, “for those who don’t upgrade https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3068708” (can this be legally tolerated?)

Clearly enough, whatever Microsoft has made of Vista 10 (and now predecessors too!) is violating privacy or data protection policies in many firms, such as law firms. They need to wipe this malware off their networks to avoid being sued for confidential document leaks. Their keystrokes, for instance, mustn’t be divulged.

“Windows has technically become malware.”“Indeed Microsoft has realized that its income is going downwards,” said one person to me. “And more important, as many other companies, they now know that the data of their “clients” is more valuable than the services and software they provide. So the tendency is clear: they are offering zero price products and services because they don’t want people thinking about expending some $ or €. They just want data, and more data and more data…”

Windows has technically become malware. It already was, but it’s getting worse. It is hard to deny that it is now malicious software, operating well outside the control (and consent) of the user. If people click “OK” to express consent to the new policy, however, their chances of a day in court greatly diminish.

One site has just explained “Why You Must Dump Microsoft NOW”. “As of August 1, 2015,” it says, “Microsoft announced a new privacy policy and a new services agreement. In the words of one network professional, “Basically, they redefined their operating system to be spyware.””

The site recommends GNU/Linux instead, stating: “The version of Linux I like best is Linux Mint. With it, you can run OpenOffice (also called LibreOffice), which does everything essential that MS Office does. Then get Firefox for a browser and Thunderbird for email, and you’re in business.”

“Microsoft does not find it sufficient to spy on Windows users but also tries to do the same in Android and in GNU/Linux (well over a billion users).”Brad of “Goodbye Microsoft” remarked on this article by saying: “In the thirteen-plus years that I’ve been using Linux, I have never signed a user agreement to do so. Nor have I checked “accept” to terms on a web page, nor opened a shrinkwrap package with a you-accept-this license inside. In fact, I couldn’t legally use Linux at all but for the fact that the authors have accepted an agreement, the GNU Public License (GPL), which says that I’m free to use their work.* (With each passing year I become more amazed at the brilliance and the foresight of the creators of the GPL.)”

It’s a Data Harvesting Venture

Microsoft does not find it sufficient to spy on Windows users but also tries to do the same in Android and in GNU/Linux (well over a billion users). Microsoft wants to spy on GNU/Linux servers too (with confidential data of customers or staff) because Scott Hanselman, whom we mentioned here for Microsoft spin (like the 'new' Microsoft uses Microsoft’s channel and “talks to Khalid Mouss about how you can monitor your Linux machines within an Azure infrastructure.” We have already explained why this is extremely dangerous.

To illustrate just how dangerous it is to let Microsoft operate servers, consider the latest excuses for Office 360 spyware at the heart of British politics (where Microsoft blackmails MPs [1, 2]). Bogus excuses are now being given, after Microsoft failed for several days to deliver mail to MPs (the article downplays this duration by a factor of 6). The Register acts as Microsoft’s courier by blindly saying (without any proof) that it’s a case of “Microsoft failing to inform itself about a technical change” (as if changing something in a mail server should take it down for several days, without expectations as such).

“When it comes to privacy, Microsoft is demonstrably far worse than Google.”“The outage occurred on 23 June,” The Register says, “and resulted in a total of 13 hours of downtime, the Parliamentary Digital Service said in response to a Freedom of Information request.”

According to reports in the British media (not much of it covered this blunder — something that people openly complain about in social media), this outage lasted days, not 13 hours. Why is The Register relaying Microsoft’s propaganda and ‘damage control’ without even a challenge?

Either way, does Vista 10 not provide enough evidence that nobody should relay mail through Microsoft (snooping of mail by Microsoft for business reasons has been done before) and definitely mustn’t host a servers (including GNU/Linux) inside Microsoft datacentres? When it comes to privacy, Microsoft is demonstrably far worse than Google.

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

2 Comments

  1. A Reader said,

    August 10, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Gravatar

    There’s a typo in paragraph 5: “Microsoft has done absolutely to deny that it seriously violates privacy.”

    The freemansperpective quote contains a factual error that is probably worth noting: “With it, you can run OpenOffice (also called LibreOffice),”. LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice, not merely an alternate name.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks, I’ve fixed the typo (missing word).

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/8/2019: KDE ISO Image Writer, GNU Parallel ‘Jesper Svarre’

    Links for the day



  2. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: A Free (as in Freedom) Library, and Federation of Advocates

    "This library is not just for cultural works, but also for software."



  3. Linux Foundation's Linux.com in 2019: Zero Articles (Nothing Original) and a Terrible, Rookie New Design

    Linux.com has become a curated syndicator of news (edited by one single Microsoft proponent); the site has also eliminated its traditional design in favour of something only 'hipsters' can appreciate



  4. Managing IP as Team UPC's Megaphone and Lobbying Front

    Managing IP is lying on behalf of Team UPC yet again; the site's long history promoting the UPC hasn't ended even when prospects of the UPC are slim to none



  5. No More Rights for EPO Staff?

    The oppression and the crackdown on labour rights in Europe's second-largest institution has deepened to the point where staff is paid as little as is legally possible



  6. Links 22/8/2019: GNOME 3.33.91, Systemd 243 RC2, Cockpit 201, Ubuntu Touch OTA-10, FreeIPMI 1.6.4

    Links for the day



  7. Some Patent Attorneys Dislike Techrights Not Because It's Wrong But Because Software Patents Are Wrong (and Sometimes Illegal)

    Odd rants which misuse common law and ignore alleged Fair Use (and misinterpretation of copyright law, for censorship purposes) would have people believe that we're wrong; but it's more likely that the person in question is jealous, insecure, or offended by our stance on patent scope, which is very much rooted in the law itself (and the views widely held by software developers globally)



  8. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Distro-libre and feature-schema

    "Every time a distro does not suit a user's purposes, and it is less work to adapt the distro on one's own than to affect the distro in any other way, a distro is born."



  9. Links 21/8/2019: Dell's XPS 13, Mesa 19.2 RC1, Librem Update

    Links for the day



  10. Links 21/8/2019: Open Source POWER, Alpine 3.10.2, Netrunner 19.08

    Links for the day



  11. Edward as a Nodder to Team UPC Kool-Aid

    Bristows LLP is at it again and it's getting pathetic, not just dishonest as usual



  12. Guest Post: António Campinos' European Patent Office Redefines Modern Slavery in the Heart of Europe in 2019

    The European Patent Office’s (EPO) President António Campinos — like his predecessor Battistelli — emulates Chinese labour practices



  13. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: There is More Than One Iceberg Ahead

    "This strategy is not far from when Microsoft talked about "de-commoditizing protocols" in the late 90s, as part of their plans to control, dominate, and end Open Source and Free software."



  14. EPO Cannot Handle Patent Justice With a Backlog of About 10,000 Cases at the Boards of Appeal

    The EPO's long war on judges and on the law has proven to be costly; it's difficult to pretend that the EPO functions like a first-world legal framework



  15. The European Patent Office Increases Surveillance: Can't Get Food Without Being Spied on

    The infamous "War on Cash" has been 'won' at Europe's second-largest institution, where people's diet can now be monitored and indefinitely retained on the system



  16. To GNU/Linux, the Operating System, GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) is Not the Threat. Microsoft is.

    Don't let Microsoft get away with its bogus narration; GNU/Linux is primarily under attack from Microsoft, whereas Software Freedom in general is under attack from many directions



  17. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Has the Full Support of Techrights

    Our support for the FSF is strong enough that we want to occasionally suggest improvements; there are growing frictions designed to isolate the FSF and cause self-restraint/censorship



  18. Why We Support Phoronix (Whereas Some Others Do Not)

    Some people try to characterise Michael Larabel as the 'bad boy' of Linux even though Michael is probably the hardest working Linux journalist out there



  19. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: The Simplest Ways that AI will Change Computing

    "AI is already used to help kill people. We should be cautious, and know that the best rules we come up with (like no doing magic outside the school grounds) won't be followed all the time."



  20. Links 20/8/2019: DragonFlyBSD Developing DSynth

    Links for the day



  21. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Narcissism in The Community

    "Narcissists are drawn to intelligent people. They take great pleasure in attacking, controlling and defeating intelligent people because it makes them feel smarter and more important."



  22. Breaking the Law Has Become the Norm at the European Patent Office

    The European Patent Office’s ongoing practice of destroying critics/whistleblowers and crushing unions, judges, examiners etc. — as well as threats and bribery of the media — ultimately mean a perpetual state of lawlessness that, if it prevails, will let patent trolls raid the European economy and stall innovation



  23. Links 20/8/2019: KMyMoney 5.0.6, Kdenlive 19.08

    Links for the day



  24. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free Software in Education

    "If everyone learns to code, then everyone gains some understanding of how to code in other languages."



  25. Links 19/8/2019: Another Linux 5.3 RC, OpenSUSE's Richard Brown Steps Down, Slackware Creates Patreon Page, Qt 6 Initiated

    Links for the day



  26. Speaking Truth to Monopolies (or How to Write Guest Posts in Techrights)

    We need to have more articles tackling the passage of all power — especially when it comes to software — to few large monopolies that disregard human rights or actively participate in their abolishment in the digital realm



  27. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free as in Speech

    "While a new breed of so-called anarchists campaign against expression that even the state allows, people are also foolishly overplaying the relevance of the state to free speech issues -- as if it's not a freedom issue when a project is increasingly thought-policed, because the thought-policing isn't on a state level."



  28. Toxic Culture at Microsoft

    Racism, intolerance, sexism and bullying are rampant at Microsoft; but Microsoft would rather deflect/divert/sidetrack to Google and so-called 'GAFA'



  29. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Introduction

    "The FSF isn't just threatened, it will hit a large iceberg in the future that changes it permanently."



  30. Linux Journal and Linux.com Should Have Been Kept Going

    There's apparently no good explanation for the effective shutdown of Linux Journal and Linux.com; London Trust Media Holdings (LTMH), owner of Linux Journal, saw numbers improving and the Linux Foundation, steward of Linux.com, is loaded with money


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