10.26.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

Eye on Microsoft: All of Windows Compromised, Windows Mobile Claimed Dying

Posted in Apple, Asia, GNU/Linux, Security, Windows at 5:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Broken glass

Another week, another tough week. Later today we’ll expose some of the realities behind Microsoft’s financial results — things that Microsoft nonchalantly (yet successfully) concealed from the press, but not all of it. First off, however… Microsoft’s latest headaches and signs of rapid decline in the technical sense.

Security Nightmare

As quoted in ZDNet, Microsoft admits that Windows turns perfectly-functional PCs into zombie PCs within minutes, which isn’t particularly surprising given the prevalence of them (roughly 320,000,000 PCs are believed to be zombies).

“How did we end up this way,” some people inquire.

Well, look no further than earlier this week when another gaping hole in Windows got exposed. Merely every version of Windows is affected, as one should expect.

Microsoft Sends Windows to the Emergency Room

[...]

Microsoft identifies 16 affected Windows versions, including service packs. Reminder: Microsoft only lists service packs that are currently supported. So, the number of actually affected Windows versions is much larger. That said, enterprises should be running newer, or the newest, supported service packs anyway.

How severe is this flaw? Look no further than this merciless reality:

Microsoft is about to issue an emergency security update to plug a vulnerability which could allow an internet worm to be spread via a computer without the user doing anything.

Yes, it’s user intervention-free. Just plug-and-[let-the-crackers]-play.

Here is some further (and later) analysis.

While Microsoft has labeled Thursday’s emergency patch MS08-067 as “critical” and provided a rare out-of-cycle fix because its exploit could easily be used as worm on a compromised network, one security researcher doesn’t think it will happen that way.

“It’s likely we’re going to see this packaged with some other attack.” said Ben Greenbaum, senior research manager at Symantec. “A Web-based attack, for example. We’re looking out for are exploits of this being bundled with client-side exploits or Trojans so that the worm can get past corporate firewalls and get behind that firewall into the internal network.”

This hole is already being actively exploited.

A day after Microsoft released an emergency patch for a critical flaw that could allow self-replicating attacks, researchers have identified a nasty trojan that attempts to exploit the vulnerability.

The alarming news made in into many blogs, such as this one. This was severe enough to be covered very widely, including in top publications:

This won’t the last such vulnerability. It happened before.

Microsoft Fights Against “Addicted” Users

Some famous quotes can never be repeated excessively.

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates, about the Chinese people

We wrote about Microsoft’s new behaviour in China several days ago. There are still a lot of reactions to this development in English-speaking blogs, but Chinese bloggers are said to be fuming.

This gives a wonderful reason for the world’s largest Internet population to migrate to GNU/Linux and also provides a good opportunity (or ‘ammunition’) for existing Chinese GNU/Linux users to persuade their friends, family, colleagues or poor peers to liberate their PCs. Microsoft flexed its muscles to show that Windows is not free (neither libre nor gratis).

The kerkuffle there is far from over because Microsoft is now targeting local shops, not just users.

TWO computer retailers in Sim Lim Square accused of peddling counterfeit Microsoft programs have agreed to pay $70,000 in damages, the software giant said yesterday.

The shops’ directors will also do 144 hours of community service, which includes providing IT services to charities, as part of an out-of-court settlement.

Large news sites which covered the latest situation include:

  1. Reuters: Chinese surfers see red over Microsoft black-outs
  2. InformationWeek: Chinese Hackers Angered By Microsoft’s Epic Fail
  3. New York Times: Chinese blast Microsoft over ‘black screen’ piracy notice
  4. Telegraph: Microsoft faces boycott in China over ‘virus’ which shames pirated software users

There were some bad articles out there too. Here are some examples.

“Now it compares them to people who murder with swords and pistols.”Associated Press, a notorious fighter against Fair Use, had Jessica Mintz use propaganda words like “piracy”, which the editors approved. The article’s headline proudly proclaimed that “Microsoft goes black, making Chinese see red,” but the article starts with “An anti-piracy tactic…” Associated Press charges a lot of money for quoting more than 4 words, so stopping here is a must.

USA Today put the word “piracy” right inside the headline, which was “Microsoft anti-piracy tactic turns computer screens black.”

The Wall Street Journal seems to have changed its headline from a propaganda-packed “Microsoft Stirs Up Pirates” to “Microsoft Tactic Raises Hackles in China.” Maybe the editor/s changed the headline after it had been published because there is clear inconsistency in the feeds.

Anyway, here we have people that Microsoft victimised like drug dealers (by its very own admission). Now it compares them to people who murder with swords and pistols. Not so noble, is it? They should have gone with Red Flag Linux rather than surrender to short-term favours from Microsoft.

The British press blew it too. This one has an image of a skull (symbolising death), so it’s not just a bad headline: “Microsoft sued over anti-piracy activity.” Is copyright infringement compared to murder now?

California’s Antitrust Case Against Microsoft

Illegal monopolisation efforts by Microsoft have already had it settle before prosecution in California. There, too, Microsoft had abused its dominant position to starve competitors and harm consumer by over-pricing. Based on the Los Angeles Times, however, citizens have not yet received their compensation from Microsoft. This seems almost like a farce.

Most of Microsoft settlement for California school computers untouched

[...]

But most of the money — nearly $200 million — remains untouched.

“That’s troubling to us,” said Richard Grossman, a partner with Townsend and Townsend and Crew in San Francisco and co-lead attorney for the plaintiffs. Grossman said the state’s schools will probably receive even more money, once a final piece of the lawsuit is settled.

Some of this money is used for deployment of GNU/Linux at Californian schools, thanks to people like Christian Einfeldt. It’s not another classic case of ‘funny money’, where the abused party that can only use compensation funds to license more overpriced and shoddy software from the very same convicted monopolist.

“Some of this money is used for deployment of GNU/Linux at Californian schools, thanks to people like Christian Einfeldt.”One reader highlighted this potion of the article: “The windfall was part of a $1.1-billion settlement of a class-action lawsuit against *Microsoft* that alleged the company had plotted to monopolize a portion…”

“Alleged?” says this anonymous reader, “what kind of apologistic writing is that from the LA Times? Microsoft was found not just guilty but guilty enough to warrant punishment. Also, I thought that settlement was because Microsoft was guilty of price-gouging.”

“That’s $1.1 billion that Microsoft is keeping out of the California economy,” he adds.

“Also, is it wise for the journalist Evelyn Larrubia to be so flexible with the facts? Not only is knowingly backing Microsoft a general liability, but misrepresenting court documented facts in a newspaper is not the way to stay employed as a journalist. Endorsing Microsoft is a liability. Definitely not a safe move.”

Further, argues the reader, “here is a start of a longer list [of the problems at hand]:

  • HIPPA / privacy violation.
  • Security failure (see latest remote access hole)
  • Overcharging (as documented in court in most of the 50 states)
  • Incompatibility (even with other version of own products)
  • Poor documentation (see recent Ars Technica article)

“The software is sold ‘as-is’ so the fault does lie squarely on the shoulders of the chumps who decided to push ideology ahead of technology and deploy Microsoft instead of following best practices.”

Microsoft Employees Settle for Change

Windows ‘monopoly retention’ seems to be eroding, even at Microsoft.

One poster wrote: “I’ve been an MS employee for a long time, and I knew we were toast the first time I laid hands on a Vista based machine. When I replaced my personal laptop this summer, sorry to say, I went with a MacBook…”

Watch the comments too. Some Microsoft gurus may moving to GNU/Linux as well (older news).

In another new abrasive campaign, Intermedia characterises those who stick with Microsoft as sheepish.

Intermedia has launched a whimsical ad campaign that pokes fun at Microsoft’s hosted-services partner program to encourage customers to partner with Intermedia instead of the software giant.

The ad campaign and accompanying Web site advise partners who are considering offering Microsoft hosted business-productivity services not to be “sheep” by “handing all of your customers to Microsoft.”

Microsoft does not appear to have responded to this.

Windows Mobile is Dying

The early eulogy — if not a sad obituary — of Windows Mobile (WM) continues. Recently it was Om Malik who claimed WM was in trouble, as we noted in this post. Over a month ago we saw the product missing shipment targets and there are other ongoing issues.

Cringely has published an excellent article where he predicts that Windows Mobile will die and Joe Wilcox argues that iPhone “beats Windows Mobile 6.x into Coma.”

Windows Mobile’s star is rapidly falling. Coming into 2008, RIM pushed Microsoft out of second place for smart phone operating systems, according to Gartner. Apple has surely knocked Microsoft into fourth place. The question: Is it fourth behind RIM or Apple? That depends on whether Apple snatched second place from RIM.

Interestingly, this conclusion isn’t based on any personal preference or subjective analysis. I’m not saying that Windows Mobile is bad, just that it is probably doomed. It’s a simple matter of market economics.

[...]

And where will Windows Mobile be in 2011? There way things are headed now, given that Microsoft can’t really afford to be anything but first or second on the platform that supplants Windows, I’d say Windows Mobile will be dead.

So, a lot of distinguished and respected voices have lost faith in the not-so-promising future of Windows Mobile. At least one of these voices used to AstroTurf for Microsoft. Earlier this week it was only a Microsoft talking point, Rob Enderle, who was throwing one cellphone ‘article’ at some more small site, denying the death of Windows mobile, despite claims to the contrary from some very major Web sites, including PBS and the Microsoft-friendly New York Times.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

8 Comments

  1. Aleh X. said,

    October 26, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Gravatar

    Another great sample of Roy spreading FUD against a free software project, this time windows, please notice that Roy always uses slander such as posting security reports against Novell’s free software projects like .net, OOXML and silverlight, now he does it on windows! Don’t listen to FUD!

    Note: This is an impersonation intended to mislead.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 26, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Gravatar

    Sarcasm noted. I didn’t get it the first time around.

  3. Ziggyfish said,

    October 27, 2008 at 4:24 am

    Gravatar

    Aleh X: rolf, nice joke.

  4. AlexH said,

    October 27, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Gravatar

    The “eet” user gets his posts regularly marked as impersonation and nym-shifting. Why not this Aleh user?

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 27, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Gravatar

    “eet” is a special case because of vile abuse against this Web site (since 2007). How do you suggest that I flag comments from nicks that are similar to yours?

  6. AlexH said,

    October 27, 2008 at 6:37 am

    Gravatar

    Mark them as impersonations intended to mislead, because that’s what they are.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 27, 2008 at 6:46 am

    Gravatar

    I shall do that.

  8. AlexH said,

    October 27, 2008 at 7:31 am

    Gravatar

    Thank you.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, September 17, 2021



  2. Links 17/9/2021: Ubuntu 18.04.6 LTS, Manjaro 21.1.3, “2021 is the Year of Linux on the Desktop”

    Links for the day



  3. Links 17/9/2021: WSL Considered Harmful

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] Microsoft Loves Linux Bug/Back Doors

    Microsoft is just cementing its status as little but an NSA stooge



  5. Lagrange Makes It Easier for Anybody to Use Gemini and Even Edit Pages (With GUI)

    Gemini protocol and/or Gemini space are easy for anyone to get started with or fully involved in (writing and creating, not just reading); today we take a look at the new version of Lagrange (it was first introduced here back in March and covered again in April), which I installed earlier today because it contains a lot of improvements, including the installation process (now it’s just a click-to-run AppImage)



  6. IBM is Imploding But It Uses Microsoft-Type Methods to Hide the Demise (Splits, Buybacks, and Rebranding Stunts)

    A combination of brain drain (exodus) and layoffs (a lack of budget combined with inability to retain talent or attract the necessary staff with sufficiently competitive salaries) dooms IBM; but the media won't be mentioning it, partly because a lot of it is still directly sponsored by IBM



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 16, 2021



  8. [Meme] 70 Days of Non-Compliance

    António Campinos would rather fall on his sword than correct the errors or work to undo the damage caused by Team Battistelli, which is still at the EPO



  9. EPO “Board 28” Meeting: Imaginary Dialogue Between EPO President Campinos and the Chair of the Administrative Council, Josef Kratochvíl

    The EPO‘s chaotic state, which persists after Benoît Battistelli‘s departure, is a state of lawlessness and cover-up



  10. Links 16/9/2021: Linux Mint Has New Web Site, LibreOffice 7.2.1, KDE Plasma 5.23 Beta, and Sailfish OS Verla

    Links for the day



  11. If Git Can be Done Over the Command Line and E-mail, It Can Also be Done Over Gemini (Instead of Bloated Web Browsers)

    In order to keep Git lean and mean whilst at the same time enabling mouse (mousing and clicking) navigation we encourage people everywhere to explore gemini://



  12. Techrights Examines a Wide Array/Range of Gemini Clients/Browsers

    After spending many months examining an array of different types of software for Gemini (including but not limited to clients/browsers) we take stock of what exists, what's supported (it varies a bit), and which one might be suitable for use by geeks and non-geeks



  13. Links 16/9/2021: KStars 3.5.5 and Chafa 1.8

    Links for the day



  14. Trusting Microsoft With Security is a Clown Show

    A quick and spontaneous video about this morning's post regarding a major new revelation that reaffirms a longstanding trend; Microsoft conflates national security (back doors) with security



  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 15, 2021



  16. Microsoft Azure and Back/Bug Doors in GNU/Linux: Fool Me Once (Shame on You) / Fool Me Twice (Shame on Me)

    "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," goes the old saying...



  17. Deleted Post: “LibreOffice is Becoming Dominated by a Bunch of Corporates, and Has no Place for the Enthusiastic Amateur.”

    Chris Sherlock, an insider of LibreOffice, cautions about the direction of this very important and widely used project



  18. Links 16/9/2021: Unifont 14.0.01, LibreOffice on ODF 1.3, Mozilla Pushing Ads (Sponsored 'Firefox Suggest'), and Microsoft Pushes Proprietary Direct3D via Mesa

    Links for the day



  19. Links 15/9/2021: Another Azure Catastrophe and Darktable 3.6.1

    Links for the day



  20. Open Invention Network (OIN) Recognises a Risk Posed to Cryptocurrencies (Danger From Software Patents), But OIN Still Proposes the Wrong Solutions

    Square is joining OIN, but it's another example of banking/financial institutions choosing to coexist with software patents instead of putting an end to them



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, September 14, 2021



  22. (Super)Free Software As a Right – The Manifesto

    "Software text has long been recognized as “speech”, and is covered under the very same copyright laws as conventional printed matter."



  23. Links 15/9/2021: Java 17 / JDK 17 Released and ExpressVPN Sold

    Links for the day



  24. Latest Public Talk (Over BigBlueButton) by Richard Stallman is Now Online

    This video has been released; it starts with an old talk and then proceeds to a new discussion (14 minutes from the start)



  25. Richard Stallman Is Not Surrendering His Free Speech

    The homepage of Dr. Stallman looked like this on Saturday, 20 years since the September 11 attacks in the US, noting that “[t]oday we commemorate the September 11 attacks, which killed President Allende of Chile and installed Pinochet’s murderous military dictatorship. More than 3,000 dissidents were killed or “disappeared” by the Pinochet regime. The USA operated a destabilization campaign in Chile, and the September 11, 1973, attacks were part of that campaign.”



  26. Twitter -- Like Google's YouTube -- is 'Hiding' Tweets From People Who Follow You

    So-called 'entertainment' platforms disguised as 'social' aren't the future of media; they need to be rejected



  27. How to Track the Development or Construction of the Techrights Web Site and Gemini Capsule

    Following some busy publication schedule (heavy lifting for weeks) we're stopping a bit or slowing down for the purpose of site (or capsule) 'construction'; here's a status update



  28. Links 14/9/2021: Libinput 1.19, Kali Linux 2021.3, and ExTiX Deepin 21.9

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] [Teaser] EPO Management, Always Right

    The only permissible and allowable/exercise-able “Right” at the EPO is “Shut up and work”; if you strike, the dictator du jour will authorise a drone strike



  30. Recent Focus on Git, Gemini, and Upcoming Series About EPO Abuses

    Some updates about this past weekend's (and Monday's) work, which improves transparency and resilience ahead of the next 'blockbusters'


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