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al Qaeda Hacks XP?

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the conspiracy-theories-and-bears-oh-my dept.

Microsoft 736

acaird writes "According to this article at Newbytes, members of al Qaeda may have worked for Microsoft and planted "trojans, trapdoors, and bugs in Windows XP"." This stuff screams of hoax to me, but it is showing up on the Washington Post.

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alf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720070)

Alf also worked for Microsoft

A Little /. Christmas Cheer! (-1)

Roto-Rooter Man (520267) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720116)

A Little /. Christmas Cheer! [slashdot.org]
by the Roto-Rooter Man [slashdot.org]

Hello, Slashdot! Here are a few Christmas-time riddles to keep your holidays bright and cheerful!

Q. How is Jon Katz like a yule log?
A. The only useful purpose they serve is causing flames.

Q. What does CowboyNeal have in common with Santa's sleigh?
A. Approximate size.

Q. What do John Katz's underpants have in common with a Christmas tree?
A. Little kids spend a lot of time playing underneath them.

Q. How is Slashcode like an old set of Christmas lights?
A. There's always going to be parts that don't work.

Q. How is the CowboyNeal poll option like a Christmas fruitcake?
A. They might seem okay at first, but trust me: it's only because you don't know how old they are.

Q. What does Hemos have in common with a stocking?
A. They both spend a lot of time rubbing against tranvestites' legs.

Q. How is Jon Katz like a candy cane?
A. They're both curved where it counts, and both get white and sticky after little boys and girls suck on them.

Q. What does VA Software have in common with Christmas decorations?
A. You won't be seeing them two months from now.

Q. How is Unix like Kwanzaa?
A. They were both invented in the 60's, and both are kept alive by leftists who don't know any better.

Q. What does CmdrTaco have in common with a snowman?
A. Spelling ability, lack of genitals, and a simplistic smile which betrays a complete absence of intelligent thought. (Also, both of them usually have a carrot jammed somewhere in their body.)

...and finally...

Q. How is Slashdot like a Christmas wreath? A. Both wouldn't be the same if it weren't for that big hole! [goatse.cx]

Merry Christmas from the Roto-Rooter Man, Slashdot! Don't forget... this holiday season, douche someone you love!

Re:A Little /. Christmas Cheer! (-1)

TRoLLaXoR (181585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720163)

This was great. Is it yours?

Re:A Little /. Christmas Cheer! (-1)

Roto-Rooter Man (520267) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720198)

Yep! [slashdot.org]

My parents would be so proud.

Spelling!!!!!!!!!! (0, Flamebait)

Luke (7869) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720071)

You's think that with all the headlines you could spell their organization's name correctly!

Re:Spelling!!!!!!!!!! (1, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720169)

As bad as the spelling is here, do note that every spelling is just a transliteration from that gibberish that the terrorists are calling a language. It's not even written left-to-right, for crying out loud!

So THEY've been putting all those bugs! (5, Funny)

Unknown Bovine Group (462144) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720180)

Well now that they've routed the enemy, we can expect future versions of MS OSes to be bug and exploit-free.

BWAHAHAHAHAA

Re:Spelling!!!!!!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720196)

You's? Who dat?

All your qaeda are belong to us!

Re:Spelling!!!!!!!!!! (1)

Transient0 (175617) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720200)

The spelling in English is irrellevant. it is all trans-literation. As long as the sound you make when you vocalize it is somewhat close to the original, it doesn't matter.

Well that solves the whole mystery.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720074)

Bill Gates is Osama Bin Laden!!!! Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

Or maybe it's Osama Bin Hackin....

Where the hell is Microsoft's PR agency? (5, Funny)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720075)

Honestly, things are getting pretty bad for MS if this sort of thing can be published without even a public whipping. :-)

If this goes on..."Next week on Jerry Springer: Bill Gates is sleeping with my sister!"

Re:Where the hell is Microsoft's PR agency? (2, Funny)

LordKariya (195696) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720133)

Mohammad Afroze William Abdul Razzak Gates, Jr, arrested by Mumbai (Bombay) police Oct. 2, has admitted to helping plot gaping OS security holes in India, Britain and Australia, India's Hindustan Times newspaper reported Saturday.

There you have it, indisputable proof that Gates and bin Laden are allies.

Re:Where the hell is Microsoft's PR agency? (1)

NecroPuppy (222648) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720191)

I wonder where the retraction will be printed...

Normally those things are buried on like page 9 in really small type...

easy to hack (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720076)

Eleventeenth post!

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! (1, Funny)

bonzoesc (155812) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720077)

In other news, the moon landings were faked, Linux is quickly taking over the desktop, and Nintendo's GameCube has surpassed the PS2 in sales.

Re:AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! (-1)

jeneag (441998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720137)

agree on first two, dunno about last coz i dont play/have/interested in consoles.

Doesn't seem likely (0)

qurob (543434) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720078)

I live in the states and can't get DSL, but they can get hack Microsoft from caves? Anything IS possible though

Re:Doesn't seem likely (2, Insightful)

Warvi (544623) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720122)

Al Queda is not just terrorists in afghanistan. They are all around the world. They have well educated, smart people well capable of getting jobs at Microsoft.

not as easy as you might think (5, Interesting)

psyklopz (412711) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720080)

Speaking as a programmer who works for a big software company, it's unlikely that anything like that would be able to get through.

Code generally goes through peer reviews and quality assurance before it is accepted into the main stream. Say waht you want about MS, but I'm sure they do these things (they can afford it!)

To bypass these failsafes would require a lot of people along the line allowing it to slip through.

Re:not as easy as you might think (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720153)

Yeah, right. All code gets peer reviewed, and it's also verified that the version that's peer reviewed is exactly what's under source control, and QA reads code? That's a fucking joke.

QA generally does not read any code at all, they take the specs for how a routine works, and maybe write some regression tests to make sure it does what it's supposed to, and breaks properly. There's no digging around in the code itself.

As for peer review, when it happens (which it doesn't for every line of code by a long shot) they don't make sure that nobody ever updates that code again without more peer review.

While I don't believe the allegation for a second, it's definitely extremely possible.

Re:not as easy as you might think (-1)

jeneag (441998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720170)

(they can afford it!)

I was always wondered why wouldn't a rich company like MS hire good/talented programmers to fix the damn bugs in it's software!?!?! Why?!! Well maybe because they want people to upgrade for years, etc.

Re:not as easy as you might think (5, Funny)

oddjob (58114) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720172)

So something like a flight simulator in a spreadsheet program would never make it into a released product...

Back under your bridge, troll.

Re:not as easy as you might think (2, Interesting)

Ami Ganguli (921) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720199)

This thing is clearly a hoax, but..

I don't think this would be all that difficult. It's not like the hack has to be obvious. You wouldn't put something like:

if( strcmp( username, "osama" ) ) { uid=0; }

That would be too obvious.

But something more subtle in the logic could easily get through, given the number of such bugs that have made it through without deliberate sabotage.

Re:not as easy as you might think (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720207)

Hmm. Im porting this anonymously for obvious reasons, but the larger the company and the larger the codebase, the easier this sort of thing becomes. Some software also tends to have certain areas which are very active in development and other areas (eg - backwards compatibility cruft) which often goes untouched for years. A company who say has a large codebase which contains lots of legacy code for compatibility reasons would make the easiest targer.
Note: I said easiest target, not an neccesarily an easy target.

This threas is likely to generate lots of posts like "well if we had the source, this would be impossible". Moderators: before you write these off as "linux zealots" and send them to -1 flamebait, please take a moment to try and find a hole in their argument first.

..

Re:not as easy as you might think (2)

Thomas Charron (1485) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720221)

I dunno, it could be argued that the engineers that worked on the components of MS Office have in the past slipped in MANY the easter eggs into the product that went unnoticed.

I could also see how it could be done. a simple #progma and redefinition of a core Win32 API function placed in something as silly as stdafx.h might just slip by.

hah! (2, Funny)

kevlar (13509) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720081)


I heard they also worked for Firestone and sabotaged their tires!!!

Bad spelling day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720082)

Looks like the bad spelling day continues.

"Emersive" and now this...

!!!!!! (1)

mgebbers (252737) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720085)

oh shit, so it's not really microsoft that you have to ring up and give your details to!

i knew little billy couldn't be behind something like that!

first post! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720088)

first post!

Hmmmm (4, Funny)

Your_Mom (94238) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720090)

Unfortunately, since there already so many holes and bugs in XP, we will never know if they really were successful.


Unless they commented there code:

security_hole(); &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp/*b1n l@d1n r00lz!*/


you sure this isn't from the *NY* Post? (2, Flamebait)

Frothy Walrus (534163) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720096)

c'mon, this is such a pile of bullshit it's ridiculous.

Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said Afroze's claims about the company were "bizarre and unsubstantiated and should be treated skeptically."

for once, we can all agree with a Microsoft spokesman.

Those bastards hacked the linux kernel too! (5, Funny)

zyqqh (137965) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720097)

And they even left OVER 700 SEKRET MESSAGES IN THE SOURCE CODE!

Observe:

% grep -ir 'a.*l.*q.*a.*e.*d.*a' /usr/src/linux | wc -l
704

Time to outlaw leenuks, I say.

Re:Those bastards hacked the linux kernel too! (1, Insightful)

eggfellow (415474) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720201)

Aw man when did grep get fixed up like this? I've still been typing:

find /usr/src/linux -type f -exec grep -i "a.*l.*q.*a.*e.*d.*a" {} /dev/null \;

"rigorous processes" (3, Funny)

Geeky (90998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720099)

From the article:

According to Desler, Microsoft has rigorous processes in place during the development of Windows to ensure the security and integrity of source code

I can sleep easier now.

don't worry (3, Funny)

bnitsua (72438) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720100)

These backdoors, trojans, etc. are rendered useless by the backdoors, trojans, etc. the NSA placed in XP.

to quote a classic.... (1, Funny)

Gehenna_Gehenna (207096) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720101)

aHEM


And monkeys might fly out of my butt.."


Thank you.

As Microsoft would need terrorist help (2, Redundant)

Warvi (544623) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720102)

Knowing Microsoft's track record, I wonder how much more damage some terrorist can add.

al Queda (-1)

FigBug (69370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720103)

I heard the al Queda infiltrated slashdot and started posting articles

Code review (1, Troll)

Oily Tuna (542581) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720104)

Do Microsoft let new employees check code into their products without a code review?

I thought not.

Sounds REALLY fishy... (1, Redundant)

turbine216 (458014) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720107)

I have a LOT of trouble believing that such things could have happened. Any reputable software vendor has a system of quality control that would make it nearly impossible for these things to slip through to the end user. Even at Microsoft (insert your favorite joke about IE here). So unless a very large number of MS employees are al Quaeda members, it seems impossible for this to have happened.

Hoaxes and needless paranoia (1)

Mister Gribbley (87789) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720108)

This may well be a hoax. It may well be a wild speculation based on general public paranoia. But there's a fairly strong point to be made concerning 'security through obscurity' here - it only takes one Evil Infiltrator to compromise a lot of systems, and if this story was publicised enough the point would be made that this _could_ happen, even if in this case it almost certainly hasn't.

Ah ha! (2, Funny)

Ledge (24267) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720110)

So thats who coded Outlook! 10 bucks says they were in on the whole Passport thing too!

He was successful! (1)

cam_macleod (59140) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720111)

...at least, if he was part of the Outlook team.

Planting Bugs? (1)

rbreve (94225) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720112)

You dont need al Qaeda members to plant bugs on MS products.

Key.. (1)

z-man (103297) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720113)

Hehe, who's up for looking for a locating a AL_KEY somewhere in the Windows binary jungle :).

Yeah, right! (1)

ochinko (19311) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720117)

Now we know the _real_ reason for all the bugs.

Should I read the BSOD backwords to get their message?

XP? Wouldn't Linux be just as easy? (0, Troll)

donutz (195717) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720118)

"According to this article at Newbytes, members of al Queda may have worked for Microsoft and planted "trojans, trapdoors, and bugs in Windows XP"."



Excuse me for not bashing Microsoft (I'll try to in my next post, don't worry), but wouldn't it be just as easy to plant "trojans, trapdoors, and bugs" in Linux? What with Linux being open-source, anyone can hack it, and unless those who review the code go over it line by line, it may be possible to slip something in. And if not in the Linux kernel, what about another Open Source program? Be wary, Linux users....

Re:XP? Wouldn't Linux be just as easy? (3, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720214)

I really doubt something like that could make its way into the kernel. Kernel changes are always submitted as patches, and are always reviewed. Imagine if someone submitted a two-liner backdoor (very improbable). It would be caught immediately. Now, imagine that someone submitted a five hundred line patch with a backdoor (more likely). It will be just as carefully scrutinized, by virtue of the fact that it is a large patch. In either case, the evil code will never make its way into the kernel.

Now, third-party patches such as those at linuxhq.com are not scrutinized by the kernel team, and these patches might possibly contain nasty code (as well as simply poor code). But if you're downloading third-party patches and applying them without reading them, you're an idiot. Can't read C, or don't understand kernel internals? Then don't apply third-party patches.

It would be far easier, as you suggest, to insert backdoors and other nasties into userspace open source programs. When was the last time you downloaded a source tarball and actually read all the code before building and installing it? The most evil of all would be a trojan in gcc -- all programs compiled with the trojaned compiler would themselves be trojans. After a while all source remnants of the trojan would be wiped away, but the trojan code would still be lurking in all our binaries. Horrible thought.

Like you say, be careful. Just because you're running Linux, or you use open source, doesn't make you immune to viruses, backdoors, trojans, or anything else.

Isnt this what happens? (1)

ASyndicate (159990) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720119)

When you force someone to give a confession, doesnt this usually happen.. The person makes things up to get a lighter sentence?
It would never get past MS I dont think.

-ajf

Who is Al Queda? (1)

Nick (109) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720121)

Must be some arabic programmer somewhere, now if Al Qaeda actually managed to do this, I would be surprised.

score -1, redundant (2, Funny)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720123)

"This stuff screams hoax to me, but it's showing up on the washington post"

Can we mod down a statement in an article as being redundant? The washington post all but invented "ready-shoot-aim" journalism.

I'm sorry, but . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720125)

...most of these terrorist guys seem pretty dull. Obviously, some are very bright, but there are many idiots. With that said, as I read this posting I started to laugh (just think about Bert is Evil and Bin Laden posters [snopes2.com] and you'll understand my point of view).

"trojans, trapdoors, and bugs in Windows XP"

trojans = condoms
trapdoors = things you fall into
bugs = cockroaches
Windows XP = All of the above

If you don't buy Windows XP... (5, Funny)

pulazzo (231488) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720126)

then the terrorists have won.

Right idea, wrong perps. (2, Interesting)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720127)

Ok, the clue is right in the idea... backdoors into the operating systems, but the perpetrators are more likely to owe allegence to the Mossad, NSA, CIA, Jesuits, or some other representative of authority.

I'm starting to believe the FBI are actually the good guys these days... YIKES!

--Mike--

It's so obvious! (1)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720130)

How could we not have noticed this!

Terrorists have hijacked my laptop! That's why it crashed into my filing cabinet! That's why it never lets me buy anything online, the goernment's frozen the assets of any account that goes through it! .NET Passport is really a way to sneak terrorists across the border!

Geeze, guys. Don't you know that Osama Bin Gates is really just a nice, freedom-loving buisnessman and innovator and not a murdering monopolist?

Well you know what's next... (5, Funny)

ShieldWolf (20476) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720131)

This just found in winsock.dll in XP:

seineewerastsisrorretadeuqla

*sigh* (4, Interesting)

szcx (81006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720132)

It screams of a hoax, so let's put it on the front page. Way to be part of the problem, Taco.

Re:*sigh* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720174)

Probably being submitted 20 times per second. Can't say I blame him.

Perhaps this is where Osama is (1)

davydmadeley (267470) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720139)

Hiding in Reymond.

To hide he is pretending to be an OS programmer.

Except he only writes in Visual Basic.

This is why XP is so bad!!

I feel a Monty Python Quote is in order (1, Funny)

mr.buddylee (541034) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720140)

"I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an emperor just because some moistened bink had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd put me away! "
- Dennis the Filth Collector.

Tom Clancy knew about something like this. (0)

terrynt (304377) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720145)

In his last book The Bear and the Dragon, Tom Clancy writes about how some programmers working for Microsoft really were working for the CIA. They planted code in Windows to help index and transmit the contents of a hard drive back to the laptop of a CIA operative.
If people will sell out to the CIA other will sell out to a terrorist organization.
Given the closed nature and wide distribution of windows, it is the perfect place for government agencies and terrorist organizations to operate.

bin Laden's not in Tora Bora (0, Offtopic)

big_cat79 (156695) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720146)

Hey Dubya, Osama isn't hiding in caves in Tora Bora, he's hiding in a conference room in Redmond!

Must have been there a while... (1)

Swannie (221489) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720147)

Well, if this is true something tell me that al Qaeda has been working for M$ at least since Window 95 came out. They obviously worked on the Outlook project at some point to... :)


-Swannie

LOL! (1)

CaptIronfist (457257) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720148)

A bit of paranoia never hurt anyone ... euh maybe it did ;)

Now how can someone use paranoia to ... hurt someone else or let's just say another organization? Maybe just by sending the person or the organization on a wild goose chase. A wild american goose chase, what a concept ;)

With every creation process comes a destruction process.

Like it'd matter (2)

Thomas Charron (1485) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720149)

I'm sorry, but this sort of statement is just plain silly. Any 'newly hired engineers' would hardly be in a position to place any sort of major bugs in such a large project. EVEN IF THEY COULD, since XP is relatively new, bugs placed on purpose would be no worse then any existing bugs simply due to the nature of newly released software.

Perhaps, just perhaps, a few well placed bugs could have an effect on the end product, but I see no reason why such an orginization would want to target such a thing. I can see the reason to want to make such false statement to cause yet more public doubt as to their safety, though. The likelyhood this is a ploy to crete more doubt is much greater then the likelyhood that they actually did such a thing.

On the other hand, it could very well be true. It is so out there that it just might be truely something that happened. It most certainly is no more out there then the very same network obtaining Anthrax from a US source, and mailing it all over the country..

He did more than "plant bugs" (1)

cam_macleod (59140) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720151)

I mean, look at Windows' track record: Somebody must have done more than just plant bugs ... they also spread fertilizer, built little winter shelters, talked to it, and possibly purchased infomercial-type MiracleGro!

heh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720152)

Allah your base belong to us!

I, Mudd (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720154)

"I, Mudd" was on sci-fi last night. I see a rewrite, something like this:

I, Ashcroft

"...XP is the only OS that can protect us from terrorists.

But XP was *made* by terrorists"

Fzzt... Pop....

I don't know about XP... (-1, Troll)

smileyy (11535) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720158)

But al-Qaeda definitely hacked a trojan horse into my pants. They keep falling down uncontrollably. Whoops! There they go again...

Truth? (0, Troll)

sigsegv (90) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720159)

Would anyone be able to tell the difference between the bugs, trapdoors, and whatnot that al Queda put in there vs the ones Microsoft did?

-sig

well that explains some things. (0)

gravityZ (210748) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720162)

I always wondered why one of the default backgrounds was called "Pile of AK-47s"

A quick search through the XP dll's (2, Funny)

The Slashdolt (518657) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720164)

has found the following phrase:
"!seineeW era tnemnrevoG SU"

Re:A quick search through the XP dll's (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720194)

too late [slashdot.org]

If they did; (1)

aurorascope (466416) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720165)

If they *did* plant trojans/backdoors/whatever nonsense - then what exactly would they do? Come on, it is highly unlikely that there'll be fibre optics being piped into Tora Bora.

Also, what the heck would they do? Bring down power stations? Governments? Residential suburbs more like. What kind of damage can you do do joe users computer apart from teaming thousands of infected boxen and DDoS some .gov box. Woo-hoo. Alot of damage done there...
-

Oh ya? (2, Funny)

Matt2000 (29624) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720168)


I heard that members of al Qaeda had infiltrated Slashdot and were sabotaging the quality of reporting.

Oh wait, Taco has always posted retarded stuff.

Goodbye to the BSOD? (5, Funny)

sid_vicious (157798) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720171)

So, does this mean goodbye to the "Bluescreen of Death" and hello to the "Bluescreen of Holy Vengeance?"

Hmm. (1)

dharcombe (183391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720173)

So, you think al Qaeda *need* to put any more holes in any Microsoft product?

Sounds like preemptive marketing from Micro$oft to me... I can just see it:
"I'm sorry Ms Reno, it wasn't our fault, it was those evil towel-heads from al Qaeda who're to blame for our many security holes."
- Steve bin Ballmer

:)

Hoax or Not Begs the Question (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720179)

How would we know the difference?

Uhhh ... It was al Queda ... riiiight. (1)

SlightlyMadman (161529) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720181)

Yeah, and I hear they made linux really secure, too! Those bastards are destroying the American economy by making our most beloved corporations look bad!

Terrorists programming IE? (1)

bahtama (252146) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720186)

Oh, this is just Microsoft trying to explain why they have so many security problems.

"See!" screams Steve, "I told you it isn't our fault, it's those damn terrorists! This is why we need more software to monitor people and secure all their personal information! I suggest using our fine product, Passport! (tm)"

But seriously, this one is really stretching for a story...

:P

XP is all al Qeada's fault! (1)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720188)

A-HA! So everything that is wrong with Windows XP is all al Qaeda's fault!


Maybe this story should have been filed under It's funny, laugh.

Microsoft Redux: Anatomy of a Baseless Lawsuit (-1)

Frank White (515786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720189)

Welcome to the postmodern world of high-tech antitrust where big is once again bad, lofty profit margins are a wakeup call to government regulators, executives are brought to heel for aggressively worded e-mails, pricing too high is monopolistic, pricing too low is predatory, propping up politically wired competitors is the surreptitious aim, bundling products that consumers want is illegal, and successful companies are rewarded by dismemberment. That's the Orwellian world in which Microsoft finds itself, a year into probably the most important and manifestly the least justified antitrust crusade of our generation.


Antitrust law aside, the principle of the matter is simple: Microsoft created its operating system and has a right to sell the system as it sees fit. But antitrust law pays little attention to such niceties as property rights. Instead, the reigning shibboleths are economic efficiency and consumer welfare. The antitrust questions, therefore, are whether Microsoft has a monopoly, whether it's misusing its market power, and whether government can find a cure that isn't worse than the disease. The answers are no, no, and no.


Microsoft is behaving not like a monopolist but like a company whose very survival is at stake. Its prices are down and its technology is struggling to keep pace with an explosion of software innovation. Facing competition from new operating systems, consumer electronics, and Web-based servers, Microsoft now operates in a world where anyone running a browser will soon have the same capabilities as today's Windows user.


Meanwhile, antitrust officials are preoccupied with antiquated notions--tying arrangements, exclusionary contracts, predatory pricing, and a host of other purported infractions--all wholly irrelevant, unless the real purpose, of course, is to pacify rent-seeking executives trying to attain in the political arena what they have been unable to attain in the market. It's time for our government to acknowledge that bankrupt antitrust doctrine is destructive of a modern Internet economy.


Full Text of Policy Analysis No. 352 (PDF, 22 pgs, 124 Kb) [cato.org]

That's nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2720192)

Forget Al Qaeda, I have something that will really terrify people: I heard that members of Microsoft may have worked on XP.

If not Al Queda then the CIA (1)

veg (76076) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720193)

Doesn't it seem more likely that Magic Lantern is already part of the XP codebase ? Why would the CIA need to send out a trojan when in the name of anti-terrorism, imerialism and the American Way(TM) they could simply ask Bill to include an extra DLL ?
So we can all sleep soundly in the knowledge that if Al Queda have backdoored your PC, the CIA will be in there waiting for them.

Veg

Who the hell needs al Quaeda? (1, Redundant)

Surak (18578) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720197)

Microsoft can put bugs, trojans and viruses in XP all by itself It doesn't need al Quaeda to do that at all :-)

It must be a hoax (1, Redundant)

BillyGoatThree (324006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720202)

Otherwise what are we to make of this statement: "...Microsoft has rigorous processes in place during the development of Windows to ensure the security and integrity of source code."



How anybody could fall for such a transparent and obvious hoax as this is beyond me.

Recycle Bin Laden! (5, Funny)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720203)

Just put this in a .REG file and the evil will be revealed... REGEDIT4 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08- 00AA002F954E}] @="Recycle Bin Laden"

"Posing as computer programmers" (1)

easter1916 (452058) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720204)

The article refers to al-Qaida members "posing as computer programmers". Surely they are computer programmers if they managed to do this?

So, when you said... (1)

tsmit (222375) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720205)


So, when you said that XP was made by the devil, you weren't kidding?

HELLO (-1)

cmdr_shithead (527909) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720206)

I would to say is shit!

Huoh to Cyberterrorism (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720208)

2 months ago when the local TV station did an interview with me about 'Cyber Terrorism and how it could effect local businesses', I figured it was under control quite well. I somehow doubt the story myself. But, if you think about it, this would be the ultimate in Cyber Terrorism. But obviously, wouldn't you think that their are a few people that set XP up on a network and packet sniffed for days just to prove something like that?

Then again.. Bin Laden managed to knock down two very large towers in a NY.. I'm not going to say he couldn't get past MS's security....

If it is someone attacking MS just to make them look bad.. well.. send them to Afgahnistan, and then we'll see how funny it is.

Daisy Cutter (4, Offtopic)

pjdepasq (214609) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720210)

Does this mean we can drop a few 'Daisy Cutters' on Redmond?

How to tell (5, Funny)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720213)

We'll know it terrorists slipped code into XP, because if they do, they'll make it support raw port access for non-priviledged users. Clearly only a terrorist would do that, so it'll be a dead giveaway.

mis, dis, and non information (1)

gokubi (413425) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720215)

Stories like these show that news is far too important to be gotten from news organizations and they people they employ. Even though we all know there was no script kiddie in Afghanistan dowloading movies on a Comodore, we'll always remember that story, right? Just like we'll all remember that XP is full of Al Queda code. This misinformation is out there for a reason--don't let the media mess with your head!

Next from Microsoft... (1, Redundant)

Wolfier (94144) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720216)

A press release from Microsoft today is trying to address all the security holes and bugs of its software.

"Apparently, all these holes and bugs are created by one terrorist member who infiltrated our company. We've always been wondering WHY all the holes are found in our software - as you know, we always try produce high quality, flawless software - and this explain where all the bugs come from. They are not our fault."

I finally understand!!! (1)

kallistiblue (411048) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720218)

I makes sense.
The costly bugs are not because M$ is more of a PR company that a software development company.
The buggy features in all of M$ products are because of terrorist gremlins. Someone should make a movie about this.;)

I wonder how Ashcroft and M$ response to this threat/hoax?

We can all rest easy... (2)

Jburkholder (28127) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720220)

According to Desler, Microsoft has rigorous processes in place during the development of Windows to ensure the security and integrity of source code

Oh well, in that case!

Washinton Post (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 12 years ago | (#2720222)

Does anyone have the link to the fore mentioned Washington Post article ?
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