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Microsoft AntiSpyware thinks Firefox is Spyware

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the most-worms-are-spread-via-outlook dept.

Mozilla 454

brightertimes writes "It seems that microsoft's new AntiSpyware (beta) is now advising users to remove Firefox on their computers.. A Zeropaid.com thread shows the offending screenshot in action. Once your scanning has been done, if Firefox is found on your computer it provides the user with a "high" threat level and advising removal due to of lack of security updates." CT Several users have noted that the screenshot is likely fake.

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454 comments

Predicted on Slashdot (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794076)

Two months ago [slashdot.org].

TACO IS AN IDIOT (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794122)

This is clearly a fake, and they even state as much in the forum.

WAY TO GO, TACO!

Re:TACO IS AN IDIOT (5, Funny)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794174)

Or perhaps Slashdot is adding a comedy section to their news.

I'd welcome it.

Re:TACO IS AN IDIOT (5, Funny)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794186)

Well, it's the funniest thing I've read all day. But, the day isn't over yet and chances are this story will show up here again.

Re:TACO IS AN IDIOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794206)

Slashdot has always been auto-trolling. I thought that's why everyone was here....

Re:TACO IS AN IDIOT (5, Funny)

kiltedtaco (213773) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794180)

I can't wait until the dupe of this story gets posted in a week!

Re:TACO IS AN IDIOT (1)

jleq (766550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794245)

Nah, they'll probably post the dupe tomorrow. Seems to be the trend lately :P

OMG! Broadcast flag...

Re:Predicted on Slashdot (5, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794195)

The most important part of any scam:

No matter how outrageous your claim, if you make it believeable, people will fall for it.

Nicely done gentlemen, nicely done indeed.

Its a fake people (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794230)

Get over it!

Not true.... (5, Insightful)

scifience (674659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794077)

I just ran a "Deep Scan" with MS Anti-Spyware on a machine with Firefox 1.0 installed. I got 0 results for spyware.

Re:Not true.... (5, Insightful)

epedersen (863120) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794093)

I have ran the scan on my computers with both Firefox 1.0 and Firefox 1.0.1 and the only Spyware that the MS Anti-Spyware finds is RealVNC.

Re:Not true.... (4, Informative)

EvilAlien (133134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794239)

Same here... I'm running the Beta, and have so since it was launched. It has never detected Firefox as spyware, but has highlighted the slight risk inherent in VNC. GIANT Spyware has done a vastly better job than Adware Pro did for me, and running Adaware Pro in parallel didn't appear to give any added benefit (best practice is generally to run 2 antispyware apps in parallel since none catch 100% of threats).

Nice FUD post here... guess MS aren't the only ones to use FUD as a weapon, huh?

Re:Not true.... (4, Interesting)

nuclear305 (674185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794109)

" I just ran a "Deep Scan" with MS Anti-Spyware on a machine with Firefox 1.0 installed. I got 0 results for spyware."

Agreed. I just ran a deep scan with the latest definitions and all I got were 3 false positives.

Screenshot [img155.exs.cx]

Re:Not true.... (5, Insightful)

Martin Taylor (861858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794125)

Jesus H, It's obviously a photoshop, the thread that they link to is clearly a joke. It took about 10 seconds to tell that this is a hoax. How in the hell can this make the front page? It's just insane. People subscribe to /.? People are paid to run this site? For this and same-day dupes?

Re:Not true.... (4, Funny)

selectspec (74651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794179)

The question isn't why this made the front page, but whether the same story will be on tomorrow's /.

Re:Not true.... (2, Informative)

Oarryan (581350) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794135)

Obligatory "Me too"...

I've been running the MSAS both at work and at home in conjunction with others (AdAware, SpyBot S&D, etc) along side Firefox 1.0 and Firefox 1.0.1

While it did presume RealVNC was initially a threat (until instructed to ignore it on subsequent scans), it hasn't barked at either of the FireFox versions.

Re:Not true.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794167)

I think you should all read further down the thread posted in this artical... because the author of the original picture states that it was a joke and a photoshopped image... (Thats if you can get to the site)

Re:Not true.... (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794176)

Of course it is a fake. Even without running strings on the image (which turns up nothing by the way), Microsoft are not as stupid as to do something like this. Courts have learned about their anticompetitive methods, so doing something like this is just asking to be sued.

If Microsoft wanted to break Firefox, they'd look at the source and change the API so it doesn't work in Longhorn.

Re:Not true.... (1)

scifience (674659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794202)

"If Microsoft wanted to break Firefox, they'd look at the source and change the API so it doesn't work in Longhorn."

This would also likely break a lot of other programs.

Re:Not true.... (0, Redundant)

The Bubble (827153) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794197)

Why does /. post this kind of crap? This is so obviously a fake; the guy that posted the _original_ thread ( grab_grab) [zeropaid.com] doesn't deserve this kind of publicity. Even respondents to the thread itself identify this obvious lie.

We at /. should have even higher standards. How dare we spread FUD around a Microsoft product when we condemn them for the same act?

Allowing this story to remain on the front page of /. is libelous and irresponsible. It should be removed, or at the very least, edited, as soon as possible.

Re:Not true.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794226)

"News For Nerds"

Apperantly nerds are techno-emotional creatures that like to be stirred by paranoid conspiracy theories against perceived big-brother-like nemeses.

One Word. (5, Informative)

JS_RIDDLER (570254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794080)

-Photoshop

Re:One Word. (0, Troll)

Vicsun (812730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794119)

What you're saying is probably true, however... would you care to provide evidence? What made you think the screenshot was photoshopped (bar the fact you didn't get the same results?)

Re:One Word. (1)

JS_RIDDLER (570254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794142)

It was obvious by the fact that it ranked Firefox a bigger threat than the other applications on the screen.

Read (5, Informative)

Monx (742514) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794148)

What made you think the screenshot was photoshopped (bar the fact you didn't get the same results?)

In the linked forum, the person who posted the image said so?

Re:Read (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794165)

And remember if you pay Slashdot money, you can get to read this crap before everyone else. It doesn't make the crap any better, it just costs you money. RTFA editors.

Simpler (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794154)

Out of date version of Firefox.

Re:One Word. (4, Funny)

rk87 (622509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794168)

If you look at the screenshot, you'll also see that the "advice" that is supposed to be taken is not valid english, and MS products are known to always have correct and valid english. More proof that its fake.

Well (0)

Daath (225404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794083)

There you go. Microsoft doesn't feel threatened by Firefox, now we know why ;)

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794248)

Yeah [danaquarium.com], not threatened at all.

Why,,, (-1, Redundant)

DCowern (182668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794084)

If they're so concerned with security patched, why doesn't it prompt you to remove IE? Oh, I know... because that might make it useful!

Outrageous! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794089)

This isn't an "accidental" identification either, as evidenced by the screenshot which describes it as an "alternative browser" - what a patently offensive tactic to try and discredit a good product that's a orders of magnitude better than IE.

Um, simply NOT true. (4, Informative)

MSFanBoi (695480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794090)

I have Mozilla and Microsoft Antispyware BETA running on my system. This is simply NOT true.

Re:Um, simply NOT true. (2, Funny)

hankaholic (32239) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794161)

Suuuuure... Any other FUD, for us, MSFanBoi?

I mean, it's not like people can simply take pictures of screens that don't exist! It's posted on the Internet, it must be true!

Anti-competitive behavior (-1, Flamebait)

MJArrison (154721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794096)

This is exactly what is meant by anti-competitive behavior. Bundling a browser is bad enough, but to then eliminate other browsers is way over the line. I'd love to see a huge fine levied against MS for this one. Unfortunately, even if that does happen, it wouldn't be for years.

The browser war is at a critical stage right now. This kind of thing could be devastating to the adoption of alternative browsers.

Re:Anti-competitive behavior (1, Redundant)

MSFanBoi (695480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794112)

Thanks for jumping to conclusions. This "story" is based around a lie. But hey, it's anti-Microsoft, so it must be right, right???

Just great (0)

cyxxon (773198) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794097)

This really is just great. I really ANAL, but didn't Claria / Gator sue some anti-spyware company about being (rightfully, in my book) listed among the bad software? So couldn't the Mozilla Foundation just fight back like this? Ok, they probably do not have the money, but this just smells like misuse of a monopoly if this is really true...

Slashdot got FARKed (5, Informative)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794100)

Later on in the thread they admit it's a fake.

Way to go Editor.

MOD PARENT UP! (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794231)

This is pure BS. /. has just been trolled, big time. This is the worst editing error I have ever seen. Why is everyone still posting? Has no-one RTFA? Or even TF second post? MS would never take a legal risk like this. Now stop feeding the troll.

That said, I kind off hoped it was true too...


Also Firefox has no catagory in the screenshot, unlike the others (VCN really is picked up BTW, I've seen this happen. Now, there is an example of a cross-platform competitor to a MS product being flagged spyware...)

How Ironic (1, Offtopic)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794103)

How ironic is it that the screenshot is in PNG format?

Re:How Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794178)

How ironic is it that the screenshot is in PNG format?

I know that one! Is it 'there is nothing at all ironic about the screenshot being in PNG format'?

Re:How Ironic (1)

enosys (705759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794192)

Well, it doesn't use transparency so IE would display it without any problems.

BTW I find that PNG is the best format for screenshots. The compression is acceptable and the image isn't mangled. JPEG was meant for photos. The sharp boundaries and large areas of identical colour in screenshots make artifacts too obvious. GIFs are usually limited to 256 colours and that messes things up pretty badly.

bah (4, Funny)

ChronoSphere (814014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794104)

You wanna make that scan result accurate?

Replace the word "Mozilla" with "Internet Explorer" and the warning will be pretty damn accurate.

Re:bah (0, Redundant)

rhofboer (639900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794162)

THIS IS NOT TRUE!!! I have both FireFox & MS Anti-Spyware installed, and it only reports: WinPCap (Ethereal) - Low RealVNC - Moderate TightVNC - Moderate

gullible, photoshopped... (4, Funny)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794105)

"rupert, did you know gullible isn't in the dictionary?"
"what? it really isn't? Oh Touche old chap!"

Next Slashdot story... (4, Funny)

lxt (724570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794169)

...and I predict the next Slashdot story will be: "Gullible not in dictionary" "Posted by Cmdr Taco"

Duh...hello? Anyone home? (4, Insightful)

lxt (724570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794110)

Aside from the fact anyone with a sane mind would be able to work out it was a fake, here are a few details that might help you:

1) "FireFox is an alternative browser" - you'd never, ever, find Microsoft saying that now. They'd say "FireFox is an internet browser".

2) "May perform operations differently from the default browser" - similarly, you could have Firefox as the default browser. Microsoft would never say these on anything they produce, because it would be seen as insinuating Internet Explorer was the only "official" net browser for Windows.

But hey, when did anything like logical reasoning ever stop Slashdot editors?

What can I say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794170)

they know their audiance.

Joke (4, Insightful)

Monx (742514) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794114)

It's a joke. Read the forum in linked to in the summary. Why is this on Slashdot w/out the foot icon?

Did the same thing with dreamweaver (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794120)

Thankfully, it automatically uninstalled it and downloaded a copy of FrontPage. Thanks for securing my system MS.

(un)intentionally? (1, Redundant)

lanc (762334) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794126)


The real question is here - does it make it on puprose or just by mistake?

and then ...
do I want an anti-spyware tool which intentionally marks non-m$ software with the TO_BE_REMOVED flag?
do I want an anti-spyware tool which is so shit that by mistake marks non-m$ software with the TO_BE_REMOVED flag?

Personally I think the software is... (1)

emo boy (586277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794129)

very useful and I have had no issues with it as of yet. I think it was a great move for Microsoft to offer this. I've never seen it recommend removing Firefox and I can't help but think this might be some photoshop trickery used to provoke the Slashdot crowd.

There was an interesting piece on journalism integrity on the internet the other night on some news channel. Maybe it's time we start validating our stories before we post them.

Isn't this... (1)

nrgy (835451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794132)

a place of informed dont jump to conclusions type of people? Oh wait what forum am is this???

What version? "Lack of security patches" (1)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794137)

What version of Firefox is being detected? (Zeropaid is Slashdotted).

The screenshot says that FF "may be vulnerable to a lack of security updates". The English wording there is very odd, but I think it's saying that FF may be out of date.

Does this mean that he's running an older version of Firefox?

Good Going, MS (1)

Primotech (731340) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794138)

I completely agree. Mozilla products are not only extremely dangerous software applications, but a threat to nation security. I'll refrain from bothering with the end sarcasm tag.

Win XP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794140)

My antispyware told me that my WinXP OS is itself the spyware and I should uninstall it immediately.

Editorial Observation (1)

p-hawk42 (776574) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794143)


The only way that the editors could have caught this would have been to actually follow every link. Shocking, I know.

Slashdot Editors, and porn producers... (1)

lxt (724570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794144)

In a dupe story posted a few weeks back, I compared the editors of Slashdot jokingly to porn producers, and then asked how I could have made such a connection. Well, here's another one to add to the list: Like porn producers, Slashdot editors shamlessly take other producers' content, and don't bother to look at it.

Sounds bogus to me (4, Insightful)

Ridgelift (228977) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794145)

Hmm..seems kind of fishy to me.

So I fired up VMWare where I have a legit install of XP Pro. I downloaded the latest copy of Microsoft's Anti-Spyware program and updated to the latest signatures.

Here are my results. [forrestmods.com]

I'll admit it, I don't like Microsoft. I've even been modded down into the basement for my anti-Microsoft comments in the past. But even I think this sort of stuff does not belong on Slashdot.

Beat 'em with the truth, not lies.

yes and no (0)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794151)

offending screenshot in action.

Um ... the "offensive" screenshot isn't even prompting for the removal of Firefox as the post says. Something seems wrong here.

Although this morning (for the first time) MS Anti-spyware did want to remove Firefox from my Windows startup folder which I was confused about since it's not in there.

After I am done cleaning my machine, MS AntiSpyware wants me to send my results to "SpyNet" (don't know if that includes my choices for removeal too). However could SpyNet be some kind of learning network that is recommending removal of items using some kind of AI? If so, then may Firefox is somehow being targetted indirectly instead of directly by MS. Just a thought.

I think this is a hoax... (0, Redundant)

yope (656090) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794153)

Here is why: It doesn't make sense. The only thing M$ would accomplish by implementing such a blathant FUD lie, is for a lot of people not to take the results of their anti-spyware tool serious anymore. That'll be like shooting themselves in the foot.

Think anout it for a second, this is most probably a fake screenshot.

HA HA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794155)

I don't know whats funnier, that Slashdot posted this to the front page or the numerous "OUTRAGE!" posts of readers who fell for it.

Re:HA HA (1)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794243)

I wonder if we could use that screenshot and send it to Microsoft, and get $5 for it, because they suggested we uninstall Firefox.

You F'ing moron editors... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794156)

Slashdot editors are fucking morons...did you check this out? It's a fake douche bag...

You have got to be kidding me.

I have had firefox on my PC since I first installed MS Anti Spyware. It never came up identifying Firefox as a risk.

BTW nice GIMP or Photoshop skillz.

Go ahead Sladhdot lemming start your complaining and bitching without checking facts as usual

How about b.s. stories..will their app find those? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794158)

This is so far from the truth, it's comical. Don't you think this story might have broken by now if it actually reported Firefox as a threat?

you do realize... (1)

m2bord (781676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794171)

i just thought of something...maybe there's a component/add-on for firefox that the tester was running that others aren't and that's what triggered the spyware alert?

or maybe the testers tweaked the beta product.

or maybe that's why this is still a beta product.

i'm not defending MS

i am merely providing optional theories for the positive result.

Don't Know Whats Funnier (1, Redundant)

puto (533470) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794181)

1. The blatant inaccuarcy of this charge, of the co computers of my fathers office network that run firefox and microsofts anti spyware(which is just giant with a new label) this has not happened yet.

2. None of my four machines that have windows at my own home.

2. Nor the 1000+workstations at my job that run the combo.

So of the 1024 windows box i am personally responsible for this has not happened.

Not saying it is impossible but it is pretty strange.

Have we as a community gotten better as marketing/rumor spreading than redmond? Than as something as reported we get the torches out and storm the village?

And you know for all those screaming, VNC could be a threat if you do not know it is on the machine, but then again, after first scan, choose to ignore.

I am operating system agnostic but it seems as if some of my fellow users of linux only time to take to know their own OS. I like to know all I can about all OS'es I can. Job security, and it is something I like to do, have for the past 28 some odd years of my life(I am 35).

I am just glad to see some people here stepping up and saying they think it is bogus.

Puto

From 16:16 GMT... (1)

lxt (724570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794191)

...from this point in time onwards, anyone posting a reply saying "I can't believe they did this" will be laughed at mercilessly...

Yes, but which version of Firefox was it? (1)

dharma21 (537631) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794194)

I also have both running and kept up to date with Firefox versions, and I have never run into this issue. So the question is, could it have been an older version of Firefox that was caught? That is a valid security concern. Of course the message should have been to patch it instead of remove it. Let's use a little bit of scientific method here and give stats so we can all reproduce the problem if there is one.

Re:Yes, but which version of Firefox was it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794214)

A dumb nigger is YOU

Microsoft's definition of spyware (0)

roxtar (795844) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794196)

This straight from here [microsoft.com]:

Spyware is a general term used for software that performs certain behaviors such as advertising, collecting personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent. You might have spyware or other unwanted software on your computer if:

  • You see pop-up advertisements even when you're not on the Web.
  • The page your Web browser first opens to (your home page) or your browser search settings have changed without your knowledge.
  • You notice a new toolbar in your browser that you didn't want, and find it difficult to get rid of.
  • Your computer takes longer than usual to complete certain tasks.
  • You experience a sudden rise in computer crashes.

Oddly enough Internet explorer satisfies all the above, maybe Microsoft AntiSpyware should remove it. :)

IF it's real... (1)

Skudd (770222) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794199)

It wouldn't surprise me. I mean, we all know how anti-open source Microsoft is, and Firefox is in fact open source. Of course they're going to identify it as a threat.

Hm. is that PR? (1)

lanc (762334) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794200)


If that's PR, that goes about insinuating M$, and then let them shine found perfectly unguilty, and just fallen into the filthy trap some bad-bad F/OSS hax0r set up, then...

...who set up what exactly? hm.

The Firefox listing is a fake... (2, Insightful)

yeremein (678037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794203)

...but what about VNC? Doesn't Microsoft have VNC-server-like functionality built in to XP? Where is that in their list?

well... (0, Redundant)

mmThe1 (213136) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794208)


A fake screenshot and nobody verified it before posting?

This is precisely why slashdot editors should install Windows!

Also... (1)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11794220)

It also thinks that other non-threatening software is spyware also. Such as VNC, and AntiLeech IE plugin (download manager).

Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794224)

I just ran a deep scan as well, I recieved 0 threats. I'm posting this from Firefox.

RTFA Guy admits it's a fake! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794240)

Read that Fine Article, the guy who posted the pic later says it's a fake.

Taco (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794247)

"CT Several users have noted that the screenshot is likely fake."

should read

"CT The article notes that the screenshot is fake."

Fake, yes, but the point was made... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11794249)

Firefox was released, what, last November? And they are just now coming out with the 1.0.1 update for bug-fixes and exploits?

I'm sure many Slashdotters will respond, "CVS updates...blah blah blah." Yeah, well, for you and me that might be fine. But the masses don't do CVS, and using someone else's unofficial builds is questionable at best.
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