Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Real Reason Microsoft Gives Money to OpenBSD is Not Security or Free Software But Proprietary Windows With Back Doors

OpenSSH
Image from the OpenSSH project



Summary: Exploring the real motivations and the real implications of Microsoft giving money to the OpenBSD Foundation

MICROSOFT is in pain. The company sees its monopoly diminished due to software becoming a commodity and platforms such as BSD and GNU/Linux taking over everything, not just the back end. Microsoft can attempt to cope with this the way it typically copes with competition (including Android as of late): Embrace, Extend, Extinguish [1, 2, 3, 4].



The other day we wrote about yet another example of openwashing from Microsoft (assimilation strategy). Microsoft booster Darryl K. Taft is the latest to call a Windows-only .NET pile of Microsoft APIs "open source" and it leads us to Microsoft's effort to characterise its involvement in OpenSSH [1, 2] as something benign or even good.

"So it's about putting secure Free software on an insecure proprietary software platform (with back doors), in order to promote its use."Based on an OpenBSD Foundation announcement [1] and some press coverage [2] that says Microsoft "handed a pile of money to the OpenBSD Foundation", we are becoming a little concerned, knowing Microsoft's history in such circumstances (creating unnecessary financial dependencies). This story is growing feet now, even in some Linux sites, so it is hard to ignore the risk of Microsoft using BSD as a front against GNU/Linux and copyleft, as it did in past years. Prudently one can say that if things are as indicated, this won't be the first time Microsoft uses BSD as anti-Linux front.

As Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols put it (implicitly) a couple of hours ago, it's about "help in porting OpenSSH to Windows."

Windows is known for gaping holes (see the latest in [3]), i.e. the very opposite of OpenBSD. For these two entities to work together (NSA resistor and the NSA's number one partner) is to have an incompatible relationship. Nothing on top of Windows can be secured and as we pointed out in our past articles about this, SSH keys will be put at risk. Microsoft's 'help' to OpenBSD reminds us of Microsoft's 'help' to Novell, where the goal was to use Novell to promote Windows, even inside Linux (e.g. Hyper-V).

It's not a payment intended to help OpenSSH development. Microsoft looks to get its money's worth (shareholders' money). So it's about putting secure Free software on an insecure proprietary software platform (with back doors), in order to promote and increase its use.

Related/contextual items from the news:



  1. Microsoft Now OpenBSD Foundation Gold Contributor
    The OpenBSD Foundation is happy to announce that Microsoft has made a significant financial donation to the Foundation. This donation is in recognition of the role of the Foundation in supporting the OpenSSH project. This donation makes Microsoft the first Gold level contributor in the OpenBSD Foundation's 2015 fundraising campaign.


  2. Microsoft rains cash on OpenBSD Foundation, becomes top 2015 donor
    Microsoft has handed a pile of money to the OpenBSD Foundation, becoming its first-ever Gold level contributor in the process.


  3. Bundestag Hack: Possible Backgrounds and Defense Methods
    Here at Univention, we are of course also concerned by the attack on the German parliament’s IT infrastructure, better known as the “Bundestag hack”. To recap: It appears that there were some bogus e-mails there including links to malware. A number of the Windows PCs in the Bundestag’s “Parlakom” network were or may still be infected with the malware, which is alleged to have searched for and copied certain confidential Word documents. According to a report in the Tagesspiegel (German) newspaper, this allowed the hackers to gain “administration rights for the infrastructure”. The attack was conducted as an “advanced persistent threat” or “APT attack” for short: in other words, a complex, multi-phase attack on the German parliament’s “Parlakom” IT network.


Recent Techrights' Posts

Links 01/03/2024: Navalny Funeral and Media Under Attack
Links for the day
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: Making Art and the Concept of Work Management
Links for the day
Schriftleitergesetz: Hiding the Holocaust with censorship
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] His Lips Moved
Here is your national "news" for today
statCounter: GNU/Linux Exceeded 6% in Asia Last Month (Compared to 4% Just 12 Months Earlier)
numbers may be biased
What the End of Journalism Looks Like
All on the same day
Links 01/03/2024: Microsoft 'Retiring' More Services and Raspberry Pi Celebrates 3rd Birthday (Launched on February 29th, 2012)
Links for the day
Women's Empowerment
Sponsored by Bill Gates
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: Speed Bumps and Analog Stuff
Links for the day
[Meme] Those Greedy EPO Examiners
Says the litigation industry, charging 300 euros an hour per attorney
EPO Discriminates Against Families of Its Own Workers, the Union Explains Legal Basis Upon Which It's Likely Illegal and Must be Challenged
To the Council, the EPO boasts about its wealth (seeking to impress by how much breaking the law "pays off")
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 29, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, February 29, 2024
Links 01/03/2024: Misuse of Surveillance Against UK-Based Journalism, EPO Conflict Now in the Media
Links for the day
Taking a Break From Paid Promotion of the Illegal, Unconstitutional Kangaroo Court for Patents (UPC)
JUVE returns to its 'roots'?
FSFE admits losing funds from bequest by insulting and ignoring Fellowship representative
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 29/02/2024: Raspberry Pi Incus Cluster and Aya 0.5.0 Coming Soon
Links for the day
Links 29/02/2024: Layoffs at Apple, Expedia, and Electronic Arts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 29/02/2024: Web Enshittification and Firefox user-agents
Links for the day
Spiked Piece/Censoreed Piece: 'Microsoft Copilot is a gimmick', says top CIO
Issues relate to connectivity and cost
Enrico Zini, Mattia Rizzolo, Plagiarism & Debian
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Clergy of GNU/Linux (Corporations Like IBM)
Volunteers as powerless "followers" of companies that "harvest" their labour
There Will Be Lots More Apple Layoffs (Already Years in the Making)
The corporate media still tries to shape the narrative to prevent panic or delay market hysteria
Latest SUEPO (Staff Union of EPO) Report For The Hague Reveals EPO Does Not Obey Court Orders, Refuses to Allow Workers to Freely Talk to One Another
working in a place where communication itself is restricted
[Meme] The Oppression Will Continue Until EPO 'Quality' Improves
wonder why EPO morale is so low?
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Outreachy, GSoC-mentors & Debian-Private may soon become public records in federal court
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 28/02/2024: Many War Updates and Censorship
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/02/2024: Social Control Media Notifications and Gemini Protocol Extended
Links for the day
Links 28/02/2024: Microsoft the Plagiarist is Projecting, Food Sector Adopts Surge Pricing
Links for the day
Helping Microsoft 'Hijack' Developers (to Make Them Work for Microsoft, Not the Competition)
VS Code is proprietary spyware of Microsoft. Jack Wallen keeps promoting its use.
Gemini Links 28/02/2024: Groupthink and the 'Problem' With Linux
Links for the day
Android Rising (Windows Down to All-Time Lows, Internationally)
This month was a bloodbath for Microsoft
HexChat Looks for Successors to Keep IRC Growing
IRC is far from dead
[Meme] Just Make Him Happy
Y U no produce more monopolies?
End of a Long February
top 10 posts
[Meme] The EPO's Relationship With Patent Examiners
Nobody is "safe"
New Pension Scheme (NPS) at the European Patent Office Explained at the General Assembly
Investing in the future, or...
Donald Trump & FSFE Matthias Kirschner election denial
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 27, 2024