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Microsoft Won't Offer Patch Before Worm Strikes?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-object? dept.

Microsoft 274

techmuse writes "According to an article in Information Week, Microsoft is aware that the 'Kama Sutra/Blackworm/MyWife' worm will hit on Friday, overwriting office documents, but will not release a patch until its regular monthly patch release on February 14th. Unless, that is, you subscribe to one of Microsoft's pay security services, in which case your machine will have the worm removed in advance." From the article: "The blog offered no explanation why the tool wouldn't be updated earlier, nor did Microsoft immediately respond to questions. Each month, Microsoft pushes a revised tool to Windows users who have Automatic Update enabled for Windows Update or Microsoft Update. The Redmond, Wash.-based company has released the Malicious Software Removal Tool off-schedule once before, in August 2005, shortly after the Zotob worm began striking Windows 2000 systems."

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More corporate greed! (1)

eh0d is my daddy (825041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616613)

Eod, is this your fault? Eod? Eod??

Eod is the one behind this.

Go ask eod.

microsoft (1)

Dragoonkain (704719) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616616)

owned

All should not be lost... (4, Interesting)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616631)

So Microsoft wont help out the unwashed masses with an early patch... what about the anti-virus publishers? Can they detect and remove the worm?

Re:All should not be lost... (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616826)

You can only check and kill it if you have AV installed.

Of course, the FBI could automatically do something about this, or if figures be believed, $SYS$Sony could deal with it.

Re:All should not be lost... (5, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617120)

No... worm specific removal tools exist and can be freely downloaded from Symantec and others... no need for AV software to be installed or running.

Re:All should not be lost... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14616857)

Just FYI...
Microsoft is not distributing the patch out of cycle because it is not a vulnerability, it is a mass mailing worm. It has been categorized as low risk. The "unwashed masses" can get the removal tool from

http://www.microsoft.com/security/encyclopedia/det ails.aspx?name=Win32%2FMywife [microsoft.com]

Re:All should not be lost... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14616936)

This goes to show what true scumbags they really are. Basically, if someone is infected and they have documents wiped because of this worm, they should sue Microsoft for failing to help prevent it. If Microsoft have the tool to eliminate the worm but delay the release for the majority of people, then Microsoft are just as responsible for the destruction of the data.

Re:All should not be lost... (4, Insightful)

BkBen7 (926853) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617091)

Or maybe they should sue their brain for non-support after being told hundreds upon hundreds of times.

Attachments from unknown people? Delete!

Scan Attachments before clicking!

Ask sender if they meant to send attachment!



Microsoft has no responsibility to cover a users idiocy.


Ok, bring the bad karma.

Prior art for this MS business plan. (5, Insightful)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616637)

Nice Windows machine you've got there. Wouldn't want anything to, um, happen to it. You need insurance, and we happen to sell insurance. Capiche?

Re:Prior art for this MS business plan. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616688)

Personal and Business users are effectively crack addicts. Now they want the dealer who got them hooked to help out.

Re:Prior art for this MS business plan. (5, Informative)

HankB (721727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616753)

The last line in TFA is
Both the company's free online security service, Windows Live Safety, and its in-beta OneCare Live software, however, will disinfect compromised computers, Microsoft said.


This includes the URLS http://beta.windowsonecare.com/ [windowsonecare.com] and http://safety.live.com/site/en-US/default.htm [live.com]

I'm guessing that's free as in beer. I like to bash Microsoft at least as much as the next guy, but I think they've provided a free solution for this one.

-hank

Re:Prior art for this MS business plan. (2, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616814)

That's nice, but it still doesn't address the primary issue: If MS has a patch that they know works, they should release it. Period. There is no reason to have to pay to avoid the hassle of going to their sites to get the worm cleaned (and letting it do it's initial damage in the process).

Re:Prior art for this MS business plan. (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616934)

Perhaps its a FireFox only problem, but....

http://safety.live.com/site/en-US/default.htm?jgms uid=true [live.com]

Gives me:

"Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete."

I guess my Powerbook is gonna get nuked on Friday, huh?

Re:Prior art for this MS business plan. (1)

lilmouse (310335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617085)

That's not very helpful if I have 100 machines to check before Friday. And if one should get infected between now and then? Not very handy, that.

--LWM

Re:Prior art for this MS business plan. (1)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617139)

Although those web sites are great for people who read slashdot and are comfortable using microsoft beta software, that doesn't do anything to help the other 99.999% of the population.

If it doesn't get pushed out on windows update, it doesn't get installed on the machines of people who need it most. If it doesn't get installed, I can guarantee you ONE of my friends is going to come to me with a hosed computer.

New Microsoft Chief of Software Security (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616639)


What, me worry? [wikimedia.org]

A simple word for it... (2, Insightful)

sterno (16320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616641)

Unless, that is, you subscribe to one of Microsoft's pay security services, in which case your machine will have the worm removed in advance.

This is what is commonly referred to as "extortion". Pay them now or something bad might happen. You wouldn't want something bad to happen would you?

Re:A simple word for it... (1)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616728)

Extortion apparently is becoming a Business Practices.. Just like the Two Tier'd internet..

Re:A simple word for it... (4, Insightful)

CXI (46706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616734)

Wrong. The entire content of this story is that Microsoft isn't releasing a malicious software removal tool until the 14th, as usual. So, go use any virus checker on the planet instead, including Microsoft's, to solve the problem now.

Re:A simple word for it... (2, Insightful)

mlheur (212082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617107)

While I agree with you, and it is Microsoft's right to not provide any fixes based on the existing license agreement, there's still two things that I'd like to put out as food for thought.

1. What if Microsoft intentionally wrote bad code, and conspired with worm authors to agree on a worm release date, then said "You can pay to have the fix before this day, or get it for free after this day". Well, it's just a thought, I'm not making any accusations.

2. What if all security product vendors took the same stand as Microsoft: McAfee, Symantec, TrendMicro, etc and said "Hey, we think we have a way to prevent tomorrow's catastrophe, you can have a defenition update in a few weeks." Of course you'd have the option to not purchase their products, but if they *ALL* did it, who would you turn to then?

New Business Strategy Actually (1)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616768)

I would not say it is extortion, but a new business strategy. Big businesses which can afford to pay for updates now will. All others will get them on the monthly plan. It is setting up a division of resources, depending on how much you are willing to pay. This could be very lucrative for Microsoft.

Re:A simple word for it... (3, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617042)

Not quite.

Extortion [wikipedia.org] is when someone says "pay or do this, or something bad could happen later", and the person saying that is the one that will make the bad happen later.

In this case, it's Microsoft saying "We'll take care of this problem sooner for a little money", but someone else will make the bad thing happen regardless. Microsoft is just offering clean up/prevention, not "assured safety". Your lack of acceptance will not make the problem better or worse; it will stay exactly the same.

An analogy might be that there's a gang of kids going around defacing houses, and Company XYZ says "We'll stick a security guard in front of your house for a little extra money, so you'll be ready when those kids show up, and won't have to wait for the police to show up when you do get hit." XYZ is offering an enhanced service; if you turn them down, your house will likely get defaced, but not because of anything XYZ did.

(If you can show that XYZ/Micrsoft is in cohorts with the kids/virus writer, then that is indeed extortion, but at face it's mislabeling.)

Re:A simple word for it... (1)

wesw02 (846056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617099)

This sucks for windows users, but there isn't much people can do besides paying or cutting the network cord.

This appears to be a typical pattern, Compaq/HP has been doing this for years. I once had a proliant raid server, I sent a support ticket in asking for driver information, they responded with "Unfortunately your devices support has expired, if you would like to pay our $60 fee, we can renew your support and we would be glad to help."

*sigh* my opinion is that if you purchase the hardware, the manufacture should support it, or the very very least provide documentation on it. This applies in this case to Microsoft, I am sure there are millions of windows users that legally purchased there copy and now are required to pay more to keep it working correctly.

Also on Friday (1)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616643)

Friday is also the 30th anniversary of the "Homebrew Letter" that Gates wrote complaining about copying basic on the altair. And also my 30th birthday.

Re:Also on Friday (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14616660)

So, are you saying that you're the result of Gates writing that letter?!?

Re:Also on Friday (1)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616752)

Would that make me the Anti-Gates? How fitting.

Re:Also on Friday (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617112)

Nope. You would be BIZZARO!-Gates.

Re:Also on Friday (0, Offtopic)

jaygatsby27 (894445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616754)

Thursday is Groundhog Day, James Joyce's 124th birthday and our last day on earth.

Re:Also on Friday (2, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616781)

It would be ironic if you were a twin. The unauthorized copy twin would be too much to ask for.

Oh, and happy birthday.

fuel for the fire (1)

marcelC (592689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616652)

The arguments for switching just come from the news. I hate having to explain why it a "Good Thin" (tm) not to use windows.

Simple answer (0, Redundant)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616657)

Pay up to Guido or bad things might happen...

Re:Simple answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14617214)

Pay up to Guido or bad things might happen...

yeah, he has this python he likes to play with ...

cost benefit (-1, Troll)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616661)

Perhaps MS deemed this virus to be less heavy a threat to computers insofar as what bad publicity it would generate from actual damage to computers as it would if they deviated from their security protocols, perhaps looking desperate to get their shit together?

Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14616667)

I'm sure that many people are thinking the same thing:
If there is a patch, that could save your customers money, WHY aren't you releasing it?
It's stupid to withold patches simply so that you can say you're following the system.
To me, this just looks like another reason to move to Linux...

Try to be a little fair (5, Informative)

bushidocoder (550265) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616683)

Unless, that is, you subscribe to one of Microsoft's pay security services, in which case your machine will have the worm removed in advance.

Or, if you had read the very article you're posting, "Both the company's free online security service, Windows Live Safety, and its in-beta OneCare Live software, however, will disinfect compromised computers, Microsoft said."

Re:Try to be a little fair (1)

shrike99 (100287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616716)

My Windows is safe. I leave the computer off, unplugged from power and Internet. And wrapped in tinfoil. Lets see a worm try to get in!

Re:Try to be a little fair (1)

danidude (672839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616795)

will disinfect compromised computers, Microsoft said."

After the damage is done to your files?

Re:Try to be a little fair (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616911)

Well, the virus doesn't hit until Friday, so in theory, if you're infected you'll have time to remove the worm before it starts damaging your system.

Re:Try to be a little fair (1)

10scjed (695280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617191)

Well, the virus doesn't hit until Friday, so in theory, if you're infected you'll have time to remove the worm before it starts damaging your system...

Or, to back up your files at least.

Re:Try to be a little fair (4, Insightful)

nologin (256407) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616982)

Unfortunately, the effort here by Microsoft here won't save the users most likely affected by the virus. Those users who don't know how to protect themselves adequately probably rely on Windows Update to keep their computer safe. How many of them will be informed in time to use Live Safety, or for that matter, how many of them know that it exists?

At least I know how to protect my computers. So the impact to me would be none regardless of what Microsoft does. It is those users that don't even know the definition of malware that are most at risk, and will be the least likely to use Microsoft's proposed remedy.

Re:Try to be a little fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14617101)

"Or, if you had read the very article you're posting, "Both the company's free online security service, Windows Live Safety, and its in-beta OneCare Live software, however, will disinfect compromised computers, Microsoft said."

Yes, but will that include repairing or restoring overwritten Office files?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Incorrect Story (4, Interesting)

CXI (46706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616699)

Come on people. This story is completely wrong. Microsoft is not withholding anything. They simple do not have a Malicioius Software Removal Tool currently ready because the system is built around deploying it on the 14th. The reference to Microsoft's pay services are the same as if you used Symantec or any other virus scanner out that which already detects the worm. It's not extortion, it's not even a story.

FRISTh STOP. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14616705)

For all practical fly...3on't fear of events toDay, name on the jar of fact came into

Al Capone would be proud (-1, Redundant)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616707)

This is a very small step from full-blown racketeering.

"If youse pay us maybe nothing bad happens to yer business, huh?"

Happy Valentine's Day! (5, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616708)

Microsoft is aware that the 'Kama Sutra/Blackworm/MyWife' worm will hit on Friday, overwriting office documents, but will not release a patch until its regular monthly patch release on February 14th.

How ironic that a patch for the Kama Sutra/MyWife worm will be released on February 14th.
Happy Valentine's Day - Love, Microsoft.

Re:Happy Valentine's Day! (0)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616773)

How ironic that a patch for the Kama Sutra/MyWife worm will be released on February 14th.

Marty? Marty McFly? Time to come back from the future. Friday is February 3rd.

Re:Happy Valentine's Day! (2)

ajwitte (849122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616807)

A PATCH FOR. Not the worm itself.

Let them eat worms. (0, Troll)

banaanimies (944641) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616715)

Let them eat worms.

Or if you don't want to pay (3, Informative)

Shimdaddy (898354) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616717)

If you can't / don't want to pay, but you still want to be secure, you still have an option. You see, if you read the full article, and go to the knowledgebase post about it, Microsoft says that up-to-date anti-cirus will take care of it. Don't have up to date anti-virus? That's ok too! Just visit the onecare part of safety.live.com, and Microsoft will scan your computer for viruses (including this one) in addition to all the other crap that builds up on computers.

Now, speaking as someone who has tried the online virus scanner, I have to say it works really quite well. It's just the tool to clean your computer of viruses, spyware, malware, unused/unneeded files -- and even knocks out those MICRO$OFT haters on /.!

Re:Or if you don't want to pay (4, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616896)

Your argument reminds me of something a friend said. We all have seen those "hardest American football hits ever" sports reels, right? Now they look nice and pretty, and they knock the ball carrier down, right? Now here's the problem: in almost every case, the guy had already caught the ball and picked up yards.

Do you see what I'm getting at? All those viruses and spywares and worms on your computer have already done damage when you get them removed. The goal is to keep them from getting on your computer or at least keep them from running. And MS is deliberately charging for that feature. Their online virus-removal thing is nice, and can mitigate some damage, but the horse already left the barn.

Re:Or if you don't want to pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14616959)

Speaking as a guy who fixes computers and loathes MSFT, "this is sweet, bring it on!".

Free MS Online Services (1)

10scjed (695280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617094)

Do those MS online services require the Genuine Advantage check?

Standard Corporate MO (0, Redundant)

Jerrry (43027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616720)

Microsoft is a corporation. Their goal is to make money for their shareholders. What they've done here is weigh the risk of bad publicity if they don't fix this worm before it activates versus how much it would cost to fix it now. They apparantly feel that the risk of bad publicity outweighs the cost of the fix.

Haha... (2, Informative)

gru3hunt3r (782984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616725)

Yet another reason i'm glad our IT department decided to standardize on open office. Doesn't appear opendoc files are targeted.

The good news is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14616729)

that MS will not need a tax cut to make loads of money.

I wonder if we should not have the top execs of Abrabhoff's lobby company, oil companies and MS take over GM and Ford and teach them how to make money.

Oh, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14616730)

Would you stop this whinge and remain being true M$ fanboys, please?

I mean they can release patches very fast when their money is about being harmed [slashdot.org] , so why should it be different the other way?

The constant hate... (3, Informative)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616743)

I know this is probably redundant, but is it possible for people to make a story submission relating to Microsoft without drawing imaginary horns and a "666" on their logo every time? I will grant that Micrsoft should probably release the patch to everyone right now for secuirty reasons, but I'm sure there are ample folks who use Oracle, and they won't give you *any* patches at *any* time, or allow you to peruse any of their Metalink site, without first paying.

Re:The constant hate... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616938)

...but I'm sure there are ample folks who use Oracle, and they won't give you *any* patches at *any* time, or allow you to peruse any of their Metalink site, without first paying.

And I'm sure there are some not-so-ample folks (I myself am fairly svelte) who use Oracle... but I digress. You're right; this kind of "we know it's broken but don't expect us to drop everything and fix it" logic is pervasive in the software industry. It's like buying a 6-cylinder car, having only 5 cylinders work, and the dealer telling you they'll fix it... in six months.

Re:The constant hate... (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617015)

That's what you get with liability exclusions for software.

The only software that should be eligible for exclusion of liability of Free as in Beer or Free as in Speech software.

Everything else should have bugs be accountable to the software maker. Why not? Every other industry in the world works like that, why not software?

Re:The constant hate... (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617187)

I'm not even worrying about the turnaround time, I'm talking merely about the fact that they won't even let you download a single patch from them unless you pay to access their Metalink site. Thre are lots of pieces of software that use Oracle as a backend, and the vendor's integration of Oracle's patches is sometimes unacceptable to the point where you want to get the native Oracle patch and just apply that directly to the product and take your chances (PTC's Intralink is a prime example), but you can't, because your license is through the vendor, not Oracle. I would liken that to nVidia saying, "We're not going to let you download and use reference drivers anymore, unless you pay us a fee, even though you have indirectly paid us a fee by buying the product that contained our chipset."

Honestly... (3, Insightful)

JFlex (763276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616769)

... Why would they hold back on the patch? If they have it available and ready to push out, why not just do it? I don't understand, its as if this is their way of raising their right hand and flipping everyone off.

"I would like to return this car" (5, Funny)

Cr0w T. Trollbot (848674) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616799)

"Why do you want to return it?"

"Because there's a car bomb on it set to go off on Friday."

"Sorry, that's not our car bomb."

"No, but when I bought the car, there was a modular plug next to the engine with PLACE CAR BOMB HERE written on it!"

"Sorry, not our problem. You knew this car was prone to car bombs when you bought it, and your purchase agreement specifically spells out that we're not responsible for car bomb damage."

"Can you at least remove the car bomb?"

"Sorry, but your contract specifically states that we're under no obligation to remove any car bombs attached to your car. Now, if you would be interested in purchasing our special Car Bomb Insurance..."

- Crow T. Trollbot

Re:"I would like to return this car" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14617086)

You know...that analogy actually makes me agree with Microsoft. You take your car with a ticking time bomb in it to the dealer, they'll probably bolt out of their office and call the bomb squad before taking the time to point out that they really dont cover car bombs in their warranties. And of course, if your car blows up while inside their premises you'll porbably get sued for that too.

More like this (2, Informative)

thisislee (908426) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617179)

"I'd like to buy a car"

"OK here you go. We also offer a car bomb detection service. Our car is as car bomb proof as we were able to make it but those terrorists are pretty clever. So you can pay us to make sure that any new ways of getting car bombs into cars that we find out about is prevented. "

"No thanks. What are the chances I'm gonna get targeted by a terrorist" ....... some time later .........

"I want you to fix my car and all other cars for free"

"What's wrong with it"

"Car bomb set to go off in 3 days"

"Well we gave you the car in as good condition as we could and you declined to get any kind of terrorist protection whatsoever either from us or anyone else. We will fix it for free on all cars, but the fix we were working on won't be ready for a 2 weeks. That leaves you out of luck but others that car bombs later will appreciate that. For you we would recommend one of three options. You can pay for our car bomb insurace that you should have gotten in the first place and that will cover the cost of fixing it quick. You can pay another company to do the same. Or third, we have this small program where you can get it done for free or you can go to other free terrorist prevention centers to have it removed. "

*Trojan*, not worm (1)

jiushao (898575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616801)

The story and summary are confused; This is not a worm, and what is discussed is not a patch for it. Blackworm is a regular old "run this fine file I have emailed you!"-trojan, so as long as people don't randomly run email attachments they are safe. What is not scheduled for release until the regular patch-cycle is the "removal tool" which is included in every patch-cycle. It just removes malicious software which has already sneaked onto the computer, in this case through user carelessness.

Some may argue that Microsoft should release a removal tool before the patch cycle anyway, and there is some credibility to the idea, though the logical extreme is that Microsoft should include an anti-virus program for free with Windows.

Re:*Trojan*, not worm (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616862)

Some may argue that Microsoft should release a removal tool before the patch cycle anyway, and there is some credibility to the idea, though the logical extreme is that Microsoft should include an anti-virus program for free with Windows.

And some may argue that more time needs to be spent at Redmond in thwarting these things outright, rather than having to patch them or update the malicious software removal tool every cycle. It's not like this Trojan is old news.

That's a big negative. (1)

ninja_assault_kitten (883141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616913)

Uhm, no. In fact is is a virus, because it isn't self propogating, and the virus installs a trojan.

Re:*Trojan*, not worm (1)

djgoofywhitekid (930790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617059)

Well, the logical extreme you suggest would also result in most /.ers throwing their NFL-style challenge flags, saying that M$ is trying to put Symantec, et al out of business by giving away the anti-virus software simply to gain market share. (see M$ v. Netscape, 1997.)

Someone explain to me how Microsoft can do ANY right? I'm not really interested in defending them, but I'm also wondering if there's an instance where /.ers will actually acknowledge that M$'s existence can do some good in this world in its present state.

Re:*Trojan*, not worm (1)

RancidMilk (872628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617160)

"Some may argue that Microsoft should release a removal tool before the patch cycle anyway, and there is some credibility to the idea, though the logical extreme is that Microsoft should include an anti-virus program for free with Windows." The only problem with that idea, is that it would further Microsoft's monopoly. If they include anti-virus software, it would tend to make people stop using Sophos / Norton / McCaffe. All they should be responsible for is fixing the hole that allowed the "virus" in in the first place. Granted, it would be good will if they provided a document on how it might be removed.

You get what you pay for (5, Insightful)

analog_line (465182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616804)

Check the license agreement for Windows XP. Nothing in there says that Microsoft will ever provide fixes, period. If you don't like their service-after-the-sale, get off the upgrade treadmill and stop buying licenses from them or buy an expanded service agreement from them. They aren't

Software licenses are agreements that should have the full weight of contract law. There is no other way that the licenses I prefer, like the GPL, BSD, Mozilla, MIT, etc, get any legal weight. If you can't abide by the terms, take a stand, show some guts, and click "Cancel" on the install. Find some software that is licensed under terms you can accept. Don't be a sheep and agree just because it would be too hard, or make you go look for other software if you disagree.

THIS STUFF IS IMPORTANT.

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

Happy Lemming (918671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616973)

The fixes aren't in the license agreement, simply to keep lawyers at bay. Any reputable company will provide necessary fixes to their product. If they don't, the customers just fade away. So do the companies.

Microsoft Policy Guideline? (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617057)

There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed.
-Bill Gates

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

mseidl (828824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617158)

I don't really think you get what you pay for here. Having to use Microsoft at work and Linux at home? Linux is free and, IMHO better(based on my experiences). So, in this case, you do pay to get shafted.

So? (1)

ninja_assault_kitten (883141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616878)

Good for them.

Bill "Capone" Gates? (0, Troll)

antarctican (301636) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616887)

Microsoft security is sounding more and more like a protection racket...

"It'd be a shame if anything happened to those Word documents of yours..."

RICO... suave... o/~ (-1, Troll)

Caspian (99221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616918)

"Microsoft is aware that the 'Kama Sutra/Blackworm/MyWife' worm will hit on Friday, overwriting office documents, but will not release a patch until its regular monthly patch release on February 14th. Unless, that is, you subscribe to one of Microsoft's pay security services..."

"Nice computer. It'd be a shame if anything happened to it. Thankfully, we're here to offer "protection"..."

Seriously, when will they use the RICO laws against Microsoft?

Malicious software removal tool (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616920)

The Redmond, Wash.-based company has released the Malicious Software Removal Tool off-schedule once before

Our sources say that this 'malicious tool' looks just like 'rm', but is made with evil bits. Some viewers have called in to report sinister rm.666 files all over the file systems - experts suspect these to be soft links to /bin/rm. Reports are steadily streaming in of other variants aliasing themselves to 'rm -rf /'.

Viewers are urged to remain cautious. We shall return at 11 to talk about these and other stories.

and "kamikazi" means "divine wind" heh heh.... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617002)

I always thought the name "malicious software removal tool" was amusingly ambiguous.

Hmph... (-1, Offtopic)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616922)

There's an easy answer for this- and it's not to subscribe to their silly service.

The problems with Windows stuff exists because of poor coding and design on MS' part (After 10-15 years, you'd think they'd have gotten it right by now- and things like the WMF flaw just simply take the cake...) and they don't seem to be interested in timely fixes for real problems (read: bugs...) in their product apparently- unless you pay more for the privilege. Any other company's offerings would be shunned like the plague under normal circumstances with these attitudes about their customers.

What's my easy answer for this problem? It's rather simple, really...

Just. Don't. Use. His. Software.

Anything but MS Office. Anything but IE. If you're braver, anything but Windows.

Yeah, I know, easily said, not so easily done.

Many Windows users seem to be spending more effort trying to keep what they're comfortable with because it's
familiar to them, than it actually would take to learn something new that takes much less effort
to learn and use than you're expending to maintain that familiar environment.

Suit yourselves, it is, after all, your time and effort...

Re:Hmph... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14617148)

>>I am not merely a "consumer" or a "taxpayer". I am a Citizen of the United States of America

You are also an Olympic-standard prick!

2 years of a failed policy (1)

mike2006 (947377) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616931)

It has been a little over 2 years of this failed monthly update policy which was suppossed to be pre-empted for issues such as this. When they switched to monthly updates I remember one of the comments being it was at the request of overworked IT managers that wanted the ease of a single patch. You think they would have figured out by now that the user base they had listened to was completely incompetent in the first place. Is this the company you want to trust your IT infrastructure with not to mention the outrageous TCO of supporting MS?

A few more facts to throw water on the fire (4, Insightful)

sixpaw (648825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616940)

  • Despite the eagerness to imply that this is something roaming the net randomly looking for computers to infect, it's pretty much your run-of-the-mill e-mail worm that actively requires opening an executable (.scr) attachment to infect a system. Under normal circumstances (i.e., without the free opportunity to bash Microsoft attached), how many IT pros would say that anyone opening a random attachment e-mailed to them deserved what they got?
  • McAfee rates this one as low-risk [mcafee.com] for both home and corporate users.
  • Symantec gives it a run-of-the-mill threat assessment [symantec.com] (low geographical distribution, easy containment).

AFAICT this is as run-of-the-mill as virus threats get, and I'm grateful that MS is maintaining a level of software discipline and not jumping all over themselves to instantly respond to every stupid little worm that crosses the net. I'd much rather see meaningful updates once a month than frantic, possibly-buggy scramble fixes three times a week.

how about reading TFA? (3, Informative)

teslar (706653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616946)

from the summary:
According to an article in Information Week, Microsoft is aware that the 'Kama Sutra/Blackworm/MyWife' worm will hit on Friday, overwriting office documents, but will not release a patch until its regular monthly patch release on February 14th. Unless, that is, you subscribe to one of Microsoft's pay security services,

from TFA:
Both the company's free online security service, Windows Live Safety, and its in-beta OneCare Live software, however, will disinfect compromised computers, Microsoft said.

Bad title (2, Insightful)

pjbgravely (751384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14616957)

Microsoft Won't Offer Patch Before Worm Strikes?

This is not a worm, but a virus, and MS is not releasing a patch, but an updated virus definition.
Viruses are not caused by a system flaw but by user intervention, that is unless it is installed without user intervention, then it is a system flaw. I am not a Microsoft user but I see no fault they are doing.

NO PAY (1)

Transcendent (204992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617004)

Both services mentioned that remove the worm for you are FREE. http://safety.live.com/ [live.com]

Seems quite logical...but... (0, Troll)

tetabiate (55848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617011)

Microsoft is not innovating anymore, just fixing bugs and preparing patches for malware as soon as possible consumes a lot of resources. Given that Vista shares its codebase with Windows XP/2003 the situation is not going to change. How do they plan to deal with it?

  - MS to customer: which bug do you want me to fix tomorrow?

I've posted this before and been called a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14617032)

but do NOT pay wolves to gaurd the sheep!

You FAIL 1t! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14617033)

I'7e never 5een

Two words (0, Troll)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617045)

Déjà vu

Re:Two words (2, Funny)

doorbot.com (184378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617279)

Déjà vu

I think I've heard that before...

Misleading headline (2, Informative)

blast3r (911514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617049)

"will not release a patch until its regular monthly patch release " Someone should have researched this a bit before approving it. Microsoft has no obligation to patch this. This is a worm that relies mainly on user's opening up an evil email attachment. What is M$ supposed to patch? The end-user?

the real reson.... (1)

madnuke (948229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617063)

If Mircosoft were to 'send out emergency patch' then it would look bad on their half, maintaining their reputation of piss poor security. Anouncing it will be in the next windows update makes it look far more relaxed and more of a 'happy' situation for everyone. And the One Care issue thats just blatent future advertising for when they will want us to buy that or not be infected.

fat bil (2, Funny)

lucky130 (267588) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617117)

mmmm, protection racket.

Wow, talk about a flamebait story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14617169)

First of all, it's not a 'patch', as there's no vulnerability being exploited by the virus (well, apart from user ignorance), it's the Monthly Malicious Software Removal Tool, which scans for and deletes known viruses.
 
Second, all decent anti-virus software should be able to remove this virus (as long as it's up to date). Thirdly, as other posts have pointed out, Microsoft's own anti-virus and on-line scanner will remove it.
 
I know that this site is militantly anti-Microsoft, but what's the point of this (non-)story?

Combinations (2)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617170)

MS have to test the patch properly to make sure it doesnt break anything else, and they have to make sure it will still work on an infinate amount of combinations of hardware. they cant just do what others do and just stick a temperary plug over the hole, it has to be done and tried and tested properly.

About the virus... (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617174)

Apparently the virus is of the executable-email-attachment variety, so if you don't open unknown attachments you're probably not in any danger. A local college announced to the media today that one of their administrative servers had been "infected by a hacker with a virus", whatever that means. I wonder if this is the one they've got; if so there's apparently no exposure of their data involved. I also wonder at the wisdom of announcing something like this (although the server in question did contain employee's confidential info, including SSNs). Kind of like putting a big "kick me" sign on your back...

At the risk of being branded a MS apologist.... (2, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617193)

I don't consider it Microsoft's responsibility to ensure that every Windows user gets just-in-time virus removal for free. It might be different if the virus exploited an OS flaw, but to my knowledge this one doesn't. This is why people pay money for AV software. That said, it would be nice if they'd schedule an out-of-cycle release of the malicious software removal tool, but doing so could create a precedent they don't wish to establish.

Windows Live site uses a cookie exploit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14617211)


if you goto the Windows Live.com site (hxtp://safety.live.com) to stop this malicious program/worm the MS site uses a malicious [pc-help.org] cookie [neohapsis.com] exploit [techweb.com] against you, if you deny the exploit you cant get to the site to get help

its like a Hospital saying "we have to break your leg so we can fix your arm"
they should be ashamed

Figures... (1)

gimme_news (930165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14617312)

Not suprisingly, as soon as I fired up IE to comply with it's 'browser requirments' for the windows one care, it crashed. Absolutely. Serious. I was just reminded why I only use IE for windows updates, and cringe at even the idea of using it at all. One care? More like one crash!

ouch! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14617350)

hey guys, mywife will hit me on the 3rd unless i pay M$.
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