02.17.10

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Microsoft is Still Attacking Free/Open Source Software With Security FUD

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Security, Ubuntu at 10:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nana the cat

Summary: Free software’s “many eyeballs” defence is being slammed by Microsoft employees who cite their own reports and continue to show incompetence and extreme negligence when it comes to security

IS MICROSOFT really changing? Is Microsoft finally accepting that “open source” (as it insists on calling it) is acceptable? Hell no.

Back in December we showed that Microsoft was smearing Free software even though it can run on Windows and now we find the monopolist using its own lies that its arrogant employees have manufactured in order to fuel this latest security spin and lies about Free software’s security. Microsoft titled this FUD “Microsoft’s Many Eyeballs and the Security Development Lifecycle”. Blankenhorn states in his response that “Closed source still state religion at Microsoft”

But closed source remains a sort of state religion at Microsoft, as I learned this week from Fred Trotter, an expert in open source medical software.

Fred wrote this week about some FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) Shawn Hernan of Microsoft is spreading within the security community — that open source is less secure despite its being visible.

Yes, that would be Microsoft, which is still doing extra PR work to pretend that it has an “open source” side and that CodePlex is not just a shell/front for Microsoft. To advertise the CodePlex Foundation as not tied to Microsoft, these liars previously recruited Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza (before he was officially their MVP). They also exploit their long-standing friendships with British Library staff in order to achieve this. The true intentions are so obvious to see that it takes gullible or misinformed individuals to fall for it.

Regarding those Microsoft claims of “better” security in proprietary software, here is a new article which attributes the rise in E-mail malware to Microsoft Windows botnets (zombie PCs). The article says: “Malicious spam volumes increased dramatically in the back half of 2009, reaching three billion messages per day, compared to 600 million messages per day in the first half of 2009. But this is still a tiny fraction of the estimated global spam volume, thought to be about 200 billion messages per day.

“A new report by net security firm M86 Security points the finger of blame for the torrent of malware, phishing and other scams (collectively defined as malicious spam) and junk mail more generally towards botnet networks of compromised machines. It reckons five botnets were responsible for 78 per cent of the malicious spam it fought in the second half of 2009.

“M86 reports that the major spam botnets such as Rustock, Pushdo (or Cutwail) and Mega-D continue to dominate spam output, supported by second-tier botnets such as Grum, and Lethic. Rustock alone pushed out 34 per cent of spam in 2H09. Pushdo zombie drones puked out one in five spam messages (20 per cent), with Mega-D zombies account for 9 per cent of the global junk mail nuisance.”

“[S]ince 2007, 5 major maintainers on Ubuntu are linked to Novell [...] Mostly the one maintaining .NET packages.”
      –Oiaohm
Needless to say, this is only affecting Windows and Microsoft’s utter negligence [1, 2, 3] contributes to it. The last thing we need is for GNU/Linux to inherit the same security problems through Mono and Moonlight. In today’s IRC conversations (the relevant part starts here), it came up that “since 2007, 5 major maintainers on Ubuntu are linked to Novell [...] Mostly the one maintaining .NET packages.” That’s a claim from Oiaohm, who added: “Matt Asay will allow .NET to infect more. Then end of next year MS can drop the patent wall on them.” Maybe this is a good opportunity to ask Asay some questions in Slashdot. Well, Slashdot treats him like a celebrity and some months ago he was mentioned in their front page because former Microsoft employees voted him one of the “most influential in FOSS” (no coders at all were seen as worthy for this list, not even Richard Stallman). But then again, as the new call for questions states, “Matt [Asay] is on the board of advisors for Slashdot’s parent company, Geeknet.” We previously complained about Slashdot’s new Microsoft slant [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], not to mention the hiring of former Microsoft employees who can change the agenda and groom particular people who are helpful to them (Matt Asay is the one who brought Microsoft to OSBC [1, 2, 3]). MinceR says that “Geeknet is completely corrupted”. Why is it that Slashdot picks questions for Jim Zemlin, for example (he is a marketing person from the Linux Foundation), whereas technical people from the heavily-disrespected GNU receive no opportunity to offer their side of the story? Slashdot reached out in the same way to some Microsoft employees.

DaemonFC, a former Microsoft MVP, says: “I still don’t get why many large companies with lots of lawyers don’t flinch at shipping Mono if it really is so bad… you’d think they’d clear something like that with their legal dept first…”

MinceR says that Microsoft “does everything they can to make the legal situation about mono-related patents as unclear as possible” and Oiaohm tells DaemonFC that Intel and other companies do know about the problem, which is why they stay out of Moonlight, for example [1, 2]. “Intel will not touch it,” Oiaohm insists, “due to legal issues.”

MinceR adds: “we see canonical pushing mono… if their legal department didn’t warn them about this, when exactly will they do so?”

At a later stage in the day, Oiaohm dropped this interesting new link (“2010 CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors”). “Good read for those who think languages like .net are majorally more secure,” he said. “That is the new list for bugs that common breached systems last year. Lot of them don’t link to what .net and java languages protect against. To be correct php and other equal languages have been breached.”

“The continuous and broad peer-review enabled by publicly available source code supports software reliability and security efforts through the identification and elimination of defects that might otherwise go unrecognized by a more limited core development team.”

CIO David Wennergren, Department of Defense (October 2009)

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2 Comments

  1. Robotron 2084 said,

    February 18, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Gravatar

    Note the hypocrisy at play here. If a FOSS advocate boasts that open-source is more powerful, robust, and secure than proprietary software…. well then they are just telling the truth. Have a pat on the back and a frosty beer. You are one of the good guys.

    If a propriety company says that their closed-source software isn’t as bad or the advantages of FOSS are not as clear as the FOSS advocates say, well then it’s FUD, lies, slander, evil-marketing, hype, or just plain stupidity. Burn at the stake, troll.

    This should alarm the casual reader and hopefully they will speculate that both sides may be right and wrong at the same time. Both sides aren’t as good as they claim, nor are their competitors as bad. It so mirrors religion and politics that only by looking in the middle can you hope to find a semi-accurate picture of the truth.

    It’s ironic that Roy complains about Slashdot treating someone like a celebrity, then the article goes on to reference quotes from Oiaohm, MinceR, and DaemonFC. All of whom are regular participants in the Boycott Novell IRC channel. Hardly the objective news sources that BoycottNovell needs to appear credible, but I’m sure they are pleased to see their names on the screen.

  2. uberVU - social comments said,

    February 18, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by schestowitz: #Microsoft is Still Attacking Free/Open Source Software with #Security #FUD http://boycottnovell.com/2010/02/17/microsoft-on-many-eyeballs/

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