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Microsoft's Security Meeting Causes Unease

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the signing-an-nda-with-the-competition-never-fun dept.

170

Tony Maclennan writes to tell us that there were many mixed feelings at this year's Microsoft Security Response and Safety Summit. Many who attended the conference felt that the presentations were sadly lacking in the technical details that were shared in previous years. With Microsoft entering the arena as a competitor to these anti-virus companies, one has to wonder about the effect on the free flow of information that ultimately benefits the consumer.

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170 comments

security by obscurity (-1, Flamebait)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780144)

If they gave technical details they might be used by h4x0rz or evet terrists!

Yes! (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780158)

Or, god forbid, someone might make a spellchecker plugin for IE!!!111one

Re:Yes! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15780292)

Nobody remembers who got second post. U r teh l0053r, su(|{ my 8utth073 it is teh h41r3333!

Re:Yes! (4, Funny)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780332)

You imply that the GP posters spelling is substandard, however I would contend that it is perfectly acceptable. From the dictionary definitions quoted below, clearly by "evet terrists" he was talking about extremist newt activists.

Evet (n.)[See Eft, n.]
(Zoöl.) The common newt or eft. In America often applied to several species of aquatic salamanders. [Written also evat.]


Terrist (n.)
A neologism referring to environmentalists who engage in actions considered by some to be terrorism, (eco-terrorism) including destruction of property as well as various types of nonviolent direct action. It is also a moniker used by individuals who concern themselves with the world (Terra) that is the home of the human species (Homo sapiens).


Re:Yes! (0, Offtopic)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780511)

Anyone else notice how since the "nofollow" attributes dissapeared from the link tags on slashdot, the number of people with ads and/or links for signatures has gone up 10 fold?

Re:Yes! (2, Informative)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780596)

Search engine bots don't see sigs (well, unless they're logged in, which I find unlikely). Some people do fake sigs though, like this:
--
$1/mo unlimited RoR, PHP, MySQL, Python webhosting [poromenos.org] .

Re:Yes! (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780801)

not to call you out or anything. Just that I opened the story and like 1/3 of the posts had very ad looking sigs. And I never noticed sigs don't show unless you're logged in... good call.

Re:Yes! (2, Informative)

gatzke (2977) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780956)


And if you are logged in, you can turn off sigs in your preferences. I have no clue what this thread is about as a result...

(Security By Obscurity) Naw... (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780499)

If they gave technical details they might be used by h4x0rz or evet terrists!

More like Financial or Market Security Through Obscurity. Like every other market, Microsoft wants a cut of it and to assert their will upon the rules by which it runs. It's utter madness, however, because if Microsoft did their work right the first time this market would be considerably smaller and segements wouldn't exist at all!

That Microsoft seeks to profit from protecting customers from the holes in their software is ludicrous, heinous even! Never fear, McAfee, Norton, MicroTrend, AdAware, etc., you can go on to sell products which protect consumers from the holes in Microsoft's security security!

And then they went on to prosper beyond their wildes dreams...

Re:(Security By Obscurity) Naw... (1)

Columcille (88542) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780858)

This has been endlessly rehashed on /. but I'll make the point again. No desktop operating system is secure enough to be safe from its most dangerous threat - Mom. Mom is a dangerous threat, clicking links without a care in the world, running programs that offer free kittens on her desktop, opening that email attachment containing a forward of Grandma's Secret Recipe for Jello Pies, and so on. The best defense a poor OS has against Mom is additional software that will keep up with everything going on via internet tubes so that it can Just Know when Mom is doing something stupid.

If you're going to have a desktop OS then you're always going to have security problems due to the end user. There is no way around that and there's no perfect protection from that. Security software is the best way to help, and why shouldn't a software company like Microsoft be making software? It's silly to say they shouldn't provide products that enhance the security of their other products.

Re:security by obscurity (2, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780648)

RFC 666: Notice of proposed definition-making

terrist - n.
1. A person who is an advocate of or expert in the planet Earth.
2. Informal. An eco-terrorist.
3. Slang. A person who does not bathe.
See also: open source developer.

:-D

Ballmer needs a gift... (4, Funny)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780153)

Personally, I think that this points out why people should be buying Steve Ballmer gifts. [poopegifts.com]

take Martin Luther's advice... (1)

Proctal Relapse (467579) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780250)

What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blaspemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must pratice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames. We dare not avenge ourselves. Vengenance a thousand times worse than we could wish them already has them by the throat. I shall give you my sincere advice:

First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly - and I myself was unaware of it - will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. (remainder omitted)

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. For they have justly forfeited the right to such an office by holding the poor Jews captive with the saying of Moses (Deuternomy 17 [:10 ff.]) in which he commands them to obey their teachers on penalty of death, although Moses clearly adds: "what they teach you in accord with the law of the Lord." Thoses villains ignore that. They wantonly employ the poor people's obedience contrary to the law of the Lord and infuse them with this poison, cursing, and blasphemy. In the same way the pope also held us captive with the declaration in Matthew 16 {:18], "You are Peter," etc, inducing us to believe all the lies and deceptions that issued from his devilish mind. He did not teach in accord with the word of God, and therefore he forfeited the righ to teach.

Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let they stay at home. (...remainder omitted).

Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us all they possess. Such money should now be used in no other way than the following: Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed one hundred, two hundred, or three hundred florins, as personal circumstances may suggest. With this he could set himself up in some occupation for the support of his poor wife and children, and the maintenance of the old or feeble. For such evil gains are cursed if they are not put to use with God's blessing in a good and worthy cause.

Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen 3[:19]}. For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.

Anti-trust? (4, Insightful)

cyber-dragon.net (899244) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780159)

Has anyone in the DOJ looked into this Microsoft anti-spyware anti-virus bit?
Anyone else feel this is the epitomy of anti-competative practices? Hell their OS is the REASON these other companies exist, and now Microsoft gets to profit from thier own security holes?

Someone else HAS to see the flaw in this idea... I can only pray the EU once again has more sense than the DOJ.

Re:Anti-trust? (1)

jbo5112 (154963) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780231)

Anti-trust? We're talking about Microsoft, the epitome of anti-trust. They don't trust me to own a legal copy of Windows XP (I change all my hardware enough it accuses me of pirating it), and I don't trust them with my computer.

Re:Anti-trust? (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780328)

It's only a monopoly if you don't have other real choices. That may have been true 10 years ago, but nowadays mac and linux look like perfectly viable alternatives. Are you claiming that these other options are so inferior to Windows that they don't count? (posted from a powerbook G4)

Re:Anti-trust? (1)

cyber-dragon.net (899244) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780514)

On the contrary, they very much count (posting from a mac mini because it fits on my desk and all my real work is on servers I ssh to anyway) and I whole heartedly support them. I just find it a bit odd that a -convicted- (in more than one court mind you) monopoly would be allow to do this.

Of course a lot of the things comming out of the U.S. government boggle me lately.
At least the EU will back it's conviction, says more for them than I can say about Bushy boy.

Re:Anti-trust? (1)

rajafarian (49150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780698)

It's only a monopoly if you don't have other real choices.

Says who? You? You are incorrect, sir. One way in which the governement established that Microsoft is a monopoly is in the fact that they can charge different people/companies different prices for Windows. Google it if you wish.

Re:Anti-trust? (2, Informative)

darkonc (47285) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781872)

It's only a monopoly if you don't have other real choices.

There are a number of other criteria to being an effective monopoly.

Microsoft still controls enough of the market that they can bully companies like DEL into NOT shipping Linux to home users except under extreme duress, and NOT shipping a box without Windows (or shipping a box without windows for more than the same box with Windows), and making it impossible for you to return the OS if you don't accept the license agreement without also returning the box you bought it with.

That they can charge Hardware suppliers for 'certifying' their hardware, and then another $10/unit for, uhm, not slagging their driver when customers go to install it.

Things like that are indicators that MS still has monopoly power.

Oh, and their attempt to bully MA over ODF under the premise that anything not from MS isn't a standard.

Re:Anti-trust? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780703)

While i agree windows is pretty much swiss cheese, i really doubt its intentional. its more of a byproduct of poor quality control and flawed management.

Not defending their shoddy practices as they could do a MUCH better job with QC, but anything that has a few million lines of code is bound to have a few issues..

No need to pray (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780779)

EU does have more sense than DOJ, though perhaps not enough.

MS were quite clever to get DOJ all hot under the collar about Netscape & IE. These are no longer competitive areas. What is more important is that DOJ monitors future manuipulations by MS. For example, how they are playing in mobile space, how they're playing in personal audio (will their new audio device kill iPod through fair means or foul?) and things like anti-virus products.

For MS's point of view, being able to lock up the anti-virus APIs makes more than just business sense. It also allows them to shut the door on (limited) review of their system by citing some lame excuses like "there is no valid reason for anyone to look at these interfaces, anywone doing so is probably a terrorist!". Loss of that (limited) review would be a bad thing for the industry.

It's called a protection racket. (4, Insightful)

slashdotwriter (972437) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781213)

Offering someone protection for a fee when you're part of the danger to that person means that you're running a protection racket. For a fee, MS offers to close the holes which it leaves in its operating system. I think that you see this kind of scheme at work all over the computer industry. The pushing of upgrades of software and hardware as a fix against problems is of a similar nature.

Trade secrets? (4, Interesting)

meburke (736645) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780179)

C'mon, folks! It is no longer in Microsoft's interest to divulge techniques that may allow a competitor to secure the most profitable OS in History against it's own vulnerabilities.

The security companies will be better off forming their own knowlege pool and inviting Microsoft representatives to learn from them.

Stupid is as stupid does. (2, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780888)

The security companies will be better off forming their own knowledge pool and inviting Microsoft representatives to learn from them.

What's ours is ours and what's yours is ours, right? What a flamebait assertion, that M$ should keep the details of how they do things to themselves but that others should go out of their way to share what they manage to claw from the void. Typical.

M$'s behavior and the results are entirely predictable by this point. They want to own the market so they are withholding what others need. As in every case of M$ putting a "competitor" out of business, the Windoze market will be that much poorer when the competitors are all gone. All everyone is left with is the decidedly inferior M$ offering which will subsequently be neglected and suck more and more as time goes by. Windoze security was already a lost cause, so it won't matter that much. The spam and DoS will continue to flow as long as M$ has market share. The only people this really matters to are those about to lose their jobs.

Re:Stupid is as stupid does. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781052)

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Translation to twitterese (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781141)

What'$ our$ i$ our$ and what'$ your$ i$ our$, right? What a flamebait a$ $ertion, that M$ $hould keep the detail$ of how they do thing$ to them$elve$ but that other$ $hould go out of their way to $hare what they manage to claw from the void. Typical.

M$'$ behavior and the re$ult$ are entirely predictable by thi$ point. They want to own the market $o they are withholding what other$ need. A$ in every ca$e of M$ putting a "competitor" out of bu$ine$ $, the Windoze market will be that much poorer when the competitor$ are all gone. All everyone i$ left with i$ the decidedly inferior M$ offering which will $ub$equently be neglected and $uck more and more a$ time goe$ by. Windoze $ecurity wa$ already a lo$t cau$e, $o it won't matter that much. The $pam and Do$ will continue to flow a$ long a$ M$ ha$ market $hare. The only people thi$ really matter$ to are tho$e about to lo$e their job$.

Re:Stupid is as stupid does. (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781568)

What an absurd quandary security companies are in.

If Microsoft releases the buggy, hole-ridden mess that so many are afraid of along with functional, cheap, easily obtainable antivirus tools, they're out of a job.

If Microsoft were to release an OS as secure as, say, Linux, they're still out of a job.

And somehow, it will still be Microsoft's fault.

No company has a guaranteed right to profit.

My $0.02

You forgot the usual course of action. (2, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781653)

If Microsoft releases the buggy, hole-ridden mess that so many are afraid of along with functional, cheap, easily obtainable antivirus tools, they're out of a job. If Microsoft were to release an OS as secure as, say, Linux, they're still out of a job.

The second options is impossible for a closed source company.

The first option, less most of the bugs, is what M$ would like you to believe is going to happen.

The usual option is to realease anything they can and then put the others out of business. Price and "free" are only the surface of the attack. The real attack comes from denying the "competitor" needed OS information and outright sabotage. Microsoft's insane complexity and bugs are a legacy of that kind of attack.

No company has a guaranteed right to profit.

M$ is a company too. Vista is the end of the road for them. Their profits and market share will implode soon after they get that buggy junk out the door when no one buys it.

Re:You forgot the usual course of action. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781838)

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C'mon Peoples (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780246)

Why oh why would they give away the technical details to their next revenue stream?

My opinion is the Microsoft groupthink has the desktop war won.

To keep the desktop they have, they use "security" like Americans use "Terrist" or the label "communist" before that.

Nevermind that the system is not designed for operating securely. Just heighten the fear, deny your former security partners valuable information and the Monopoly money will keep coming.

12 tenets my a**.

Re:C'mon Peoples (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781623)

12 tenets my a**.

Yeah, this one didn't last long, did it?

6. APIs. ...going forward, Microsoft will ensure that all the interfaces within Windows called by any other Microsoft product, such as the Microsoft Office system or Windows Live(TM), will be disclosed for use by the developer community generally. That means that anything that Microsoft's products can do in terms of how they plug into Windows, competing products will be able to do as well.

from TFA: visitors are those not saying anything (4, Interesting)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780263)

FTA:

You can imagine why everyone kept their mouth shut:

It's especially a concern that Microsoft requires attendees to sign a document that allows the company to use anything that anyone says at the event.

"Having been put into that situation, people will feel more inhibited to say things," said Jimmy Kuo, a McAfee fellow and a veteran of the Microsoft events. "They ask us to sign a nondisclosure agreement, and if we say anything in those meetings that Microsoft is able to use, they have the right to do so." The agreement was introduced in recent years, he said.

Really, what kind of conference organized by a competitor that already puts in a clause that they can steal the ideas presented would actually render useful information? Think of some big pharmaceutical firm letting its competitors come and show their ideas with a clause like the one above. It would be surprising if anyone would actually show up.

Re:from TFA: visitors are those not saying anythin (4, Insightful)

jkabbe (631234) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780441)

Microsoft would be irresponsible if they did not include a clause in the agreement giving them rights to use anything disclosed at the conference.

Imagine Microsoft was busy working on feature X. Then, along comes someone from Symantec who talks about feature X at the conference. Later, Microsoft comes out with an update to their product incorporating feature X. Symantec cries fowl and starts complaining about how Microsoft stole their confidential information.

All the clause effectively says is that the information disclosed at the conference is not confidential. If it's not a trade secret, Microsoft can use it as it sees fit anyway. The same would hold true for anyone else at the conference. The agreement just puts it down in plain English for those not up on IP law.

Re:from TFA: visitors are those not saying anythin (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781605)

Everybody who has ever attended a conference knows that this is the place where ideas are stolen. So if you think you have a smart idea, you should NEVER talk about this on a conference.

The most interesting thing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15780269)

The most interesting thing I learned from this article is that Vista will have what sounds like proper symbolic links. And that's not saying very much. :)

I could be wrong, but ... (5, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780299)

Another session discussed how malicious software could leave traces on Vista PCs even after it is removed, McAfee's Kuo said. The trace is in the form of a so-called symbolic link, a technology introduced in Vista. These are designed to make it easier to locate items on a computer, and are somewhat similar to current shortcuts in Windows XP and aliases in Mac OS systems.

"Symbolic links can clutter up your machine with lots and lots of links that point nowhere" after the malicious software is removed, Kuo said. Protective tools will probably end up doing the clean-up, he said. It's a sign that on Vista systems, security software has more work to do than on earlier versions of the operating system.

This new symbolic link technology sounds like serious stuff. I hope they hold back on the release date until they it's working correctly.

Re:I could be wrong, but ... (2, Funny)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780375)

yo man, have you ever removed a symbolic link to a directory in *nix and then forgot to not put the /-sign after it?(*) There goes your original directory! These symbolic links have been a pain in the ass for *nix users for decades already.

(*) or was it the other way around? Just confusing everybody here to make things worse ;)

Re:I could be wrong, but ... (1)

lannocc (568669) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780462)

yo man, have you ever removed a symbolic link to a directory in *nix and then forgot to not put the /-sign after it?(*) There goes your original directory!

Unless you're using rm -r (for some crazy reason) to remove a symbolic link you will only ever accidently remove an empty directory, which is easily re-created.

Only one A/V vendore currently in MS Vista Beta (3, Interesting)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780314)

Trend Micro. Perhaps the others are staying away out of fear? Seems shortsighted.

Microsoft causes viruses then paid to find them. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15780352)

There is something very wrong if an entire business exists to work around holes in a companies OS. There is something even more wrong when that company is attempting to enter into that business. Wouldn't fixing the security model be more effective.

Re:Microsoft causes viruses then paid to find them (3, Insightful)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781797)

Fixing it would be more effective, but less profitable.

one has to wonder... really? (2, Informative)

cloricus (691063) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780353)

So hands up who didn't see this coming more than a year ago when they started talking about it...Don't forget this is still Microsoft we are talking about - the upper management is still in place which means the ethos while hidden hasn't changed - maybe when gates and the others go it might improve though not before then.

12 Rules? (4, Interesting)

tb3 (313150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780377)

So, how many of the wonderful new '12 Rules' does this violate? And how many people really believed in the 'Kinder, Gentler, Microsoft'?

Re:12 Rules? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15780524)

Perhaps "embrace, extend and extinguish" applies to the new '12 Rules' too?

I wonder what the new "Rule #13" is?

Kinder, Gentler... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781053)

Miscrosoft is a kinder, gentler corporation in the same way that Bush is a kindler, gentler Republican.

Re:12 Rules? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781356)

Probably about the same number that believed in George Bush, Sr's "Kindler, Gentler, America". Which is to say, not many.

Re:12 Rules? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781496)

Why don't you go thru the 12 tenets yourself and list each one you think have been violated by this? Or, maybe you feel safer spewing a rhetorical question, since it frees you from the responsibility of having to back your bullshit up with facts.

Re:12 Rules? (1)

cooldev (204270) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781867)

None. Actually, it reinforces one:

1. Installation of any software. Computer manufacturers and customers are free to add any software to PCs that run Windows. . .

As long as customers are free to add any software to PCs that run Windows, they can inadvertently install software that's a virus, trojan, or other malware. Faced with the option to either lock down Windows so you can't install anything that's not pre-approved (like many cell phones and other devices), which would go a long ways toward fixing the virus/malware problem, Microsoft has chosen not to lock down the platform. This is undeniably good.

Microsoft ignorance (1)

babtrek (256300) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780440)

We all should just unplug our ethernet cables right now, I have the feeling that with MS entering the market with antivirus software that less information will get out about how to fix things. Now when MS screws with their antivirus and Windows it will take longer to get things to work right because who would wanna use MS's bloatware antivirus.

Job security, for me (5, Interesting)

RickBauls (944510) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780448)

Microsofts poor security and anti-virus is what keeps bills paid for me and a lot of people I know. If you ask me, malware can be a good thing in a capitalist run country like USA. If it wasn't for malware, the entry level jobs at a lot of IT companies would be gone.

Re:Job security, for me (1)

toddhunter (659837) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781203)

Exactly. And if it wasn't for microsoft people would all be expecting the software you right for them to work, everytime. As it stands now they just shrug off the worst of bugs as probably a 'windows thing'.

Be careful what you wish for!

mod d0wn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15780451)

worse and worse. As are just way over as thos"e non gay,

fairness and microsoft (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15780518)

fairness and microsoft go together like Military and intelligence. Of course they don't want to talk about how they will patch the gaping holes they leave in their software. And you knew sooner or later someone there would go, hey, why don't WE sell spyware and antivirus software? It's all just foolishness. Microsoft is, has been, and will be, a corrupt monopoly as long as our corrupt government allows it.

I thought it wasn't useful (1)

denjin (115496) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780550)

Ok, this is due to me not looking into it much prior, perhaps.

But I went to the Chicago one this year, and it was utterly useless. All it came across to me was an extended sales pitch for their products. Perhaps I should have expected more, but it really didn't get in to any real technical details. You just went to some room and some half-techie guy talked about a specific product. It would have been a lot more useful if they'd discussed real issues, etc.

A moment without Microsoft (1, Interesting)

PixieDust (971386) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780595)

I really wish that Microsoft disappeared from the OS market for just a short time. Not one computer running Windows (or perhaps at most a niche market with roughly 5% share). Then suddenly Windows won't have security holes. Then it will be Linux, MacOS, or whatever happens to control the lion's share of the market, which will be plagued by security grief.

Of course those would likely get blamed on "Evil Hackers and Coders" as opposed to the company(pluralize if necessary) putting out the OS.

Face it, Microsoft is at the top, and hence, is villified. They're not doing a horrible job, all things considered. Mod me down, Flame me for being a "fangirl", whatever.

The simple truth of the matter is that there is NOTHING wrong with MS making an Anti-Virus, and Anti-Spyware solution for it's customers. Bundling them FREE with Windows? Yes that can be a problem. I'm actually sort of on the fence about MS's Anti-Spyware software coming installed with Vista. I don't think that's fair. If they want to offer it free, that's fine (don't cry foul unless you're prepared to tell Spoybot, AdAware, et al that they can't provide free software either). Bundling it with Windows? I don't like it. Microsoft offers their Virus Protection as a FOR PAY product, meaning people have to spend money on it. It's hardly unfair to companies like Symantec or McAfee, or Trend Micro for that matter. It's simply a competing product.

As for non-disclosure agreements, and intellectual property rights and such, this is nothing new, and is practiced by just about EVERYONE in the information business. I remember being incensed when Yahoo bought geocities, and the TOS agreement changed so that Yahoo suddenly owned ANY AND ALL CONTENT that you hosted on their servers. Without ever agreeing to a new TOS when the company changed hands. THAT ticked me off. Yahoo tried using some images I'd painstakingly made, and were profiting off of them, even though they had been hosted at geocities, and the TOS at the time (that I had agreed to) left the rights and ownership to me. Yahoo essentially swiped them (but was at least kind enough to simply delete my account after I threatened them with legal action, and they stopped using my images).

Welcome to capitalism. Break the word down.

Re:A moment without Microsoft (2, Insightful)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781513)

SpyBot and AdWare are free, so why would they care if Microsoft bundled anti-spyware with windows? It's not like they're being denied revenue.

The fact is, the overwhelming majority of users don't have any anti-spyware protection, and Microsoft is tired of getting blamed for this (note that spyware doesn't generally rely on OS flaws, but on users explicitly installing malware). In order to clamp down on spyware, it's necessary for anti-spyware to be bundled, since most are not installing 3rd party anti-spyware.

Re:A moment without Microsoft (1)

PixieDust (971386) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781571)

Spybot and AdAware may not necessarily care (other than perhaps people not getting the "Pro" version, or donating). But what of companies like Webroot, eTrust, and others the rely very heavily on Anti-Spyware software sales for their revenue?

And my mentioning of Spybot and AdAware were to keep people from crying foul about MS offering their bundled spyware protection for free. I can see both sides of that argument, and each side has a fairly compelling case.

As long as there is porn, easily accessible software piracy, and users who are careless, there will be Malware issues (to include Virus/Trojan/Adware/Spyware/et al) a-plenty.

We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (4, Insightful)

RailGunSally (946944) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780619)

I sat in a meeting yesterday with "developers" who had never heard of Bachus-Naur form. I routinely confer with "programmers" who have never heard of a finite state machine. I work daily with "data architects" who have never heard of Dr. Codd or of normalization. I am personally acquainted with upper managers who are just dying to replace OpenBSD-based firewalls with M$ Vista Server. THIS, my fellow cognoscenti, is the extent to which our society is infested with charlatans and ignorami. That M$ can now, on the one hand, generate security holes of arbitrary obscurity, and, on the other, miraculously detect and repair them far and away better than their erstwhile "competitors" is a final and apocalyptic testimonial to the supreme stupidity (I use the word advisedly, in the sense of "willful ignorance") of our omnipotent layers of corporate management. Wasn't it bad enough when M$ were the sole possessors of the Most Sacred A[PB]Is? Wasn't it awful enough that they were able to ignore even the most rudimentary dictates of software engineering with impugnity -- that the drooling imbeciles in management would keep right on paying vast sums of money for hideous deformities of Logic without batting an eyelash? Do they now get to rake in huge profits from "repairing" systemic defects of their own intentional manufacture? I am 41. I am tired and old. I have watched, like a Felliniesque "Sad Clown of Life," wave upon wave of utter inanity wash up on the vast, dead-whale-stinking beach of corporate and academic IT. I have seen too much. I can cry no more. I want to know how to stop caring now. How, for the love of God, do I join the endless ranks of these gibbering fools who never think one picometer beyond their golf handicaps? How, for the bleeding love of the pumping, pulsating heart of Jesus Christ on a pogo stick do I just sit in meetings daydreaming about jumping into my big yellow H2 and driving back to my prefab McMansion in the burb-sprawl and staining my redwood deck with Johnson's WaterSeal? Why oh why must I KNOW that the imminent deaths of such elegancies as Tru64 Unix and MIPS and Alpha are a sin against art and science and technology and Man? Can't I just be stupid too? What's so wrong with me? What have I done? Why must I suffer so? One day, my friends, we will all lounge in paradise happily signing off on million-dollar purchases of Microsoft AntiVirus Protection(TM) with huge idiotic grins upon our faces and lovely oblivious strings of rancid drool dangling from our chins. We will not be tormented by the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Our eyes will bear the brilliant, unfocused glow of perfect, orgasmic stupidity. Until then, we must work to balance our egregious karma. Can there be any doubt whatever that we fried and devoured living human babies in each of our wretched previous incarnations? What more glaring evidence can there be of our complete, total, and inherent evil? We sinners must needs endure the terrible, sadistic wrath of a cold and childish god. May he soon tire of so gleefully tormenting us. Amen. Railgun Sally

Re: We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (2, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780817)

> I sat in a meeting yesterday with "developers" who had never heard of Bachus-Naur form. I routinely confer with "programmers" who have never heard of a finite state machine. I work daily with "data architects" who have never heard of Dr. Codd or of normalization. [...] THIS, my fellow cognoscenti, is the extent to which our society is infested with charlatans and ignorami.

Sorry, I've never heard of cognoscenti, charlatans, and ignorami.

Re: We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (4, Funny)

Skippy_kangaroo (850507) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780934)

Sorry, I've never heard of cognoscenti, charlatans, and ignorami.

Ignorami is a variant of the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. (Ignorami practitioners have been known to leave their creations on sidewalks creating serious public safety issues.)

Charlatans are a salamander-like creature that can originally be found on the Galapagos islands, but who are now becoming a problem in urban areas because of specimens escaping from zoos. (Hence society being infested with them.)

Cognoscenti just refers to employees of Cognos.

Yuo are wrong good sir (2, Funny)

Greego (698947) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781159)

Cognos employees are known as Cognomen .

Cognoscenti are people who smell like employees of Cognos.

Re:We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (1)

governorx (524152) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781299)

Cheers.

I especially enjoy your mastery of english lexicon, although im not impressed with the whole yellow H2 thing.. In the meantime, I suggest sipping on some xo cognac to relax. Why not enjoy yourself before your imagined armageddon is realised?

Since you seem to be religious, you know people are sheep. So.. how will you be the shephard that leads them to greener pastures? Is it time for an anti-microsoft offshoot of catholisism or christianity? Just something to think about. It would be humourous to end a sermon with: "And remember: Microsoft-av is evil. Buy it, and your soul will never make it to heaven!"

BTW? You got a rant site?

Re:We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (3, Insightful)

Toby_Tyke (797359) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781372)

I sat in a meeting yesterday with "developers" who had never heard of Bachus-Naur form. I routinely confer with "programmers" who have never heard of a finite state machine. I work daily with "data architects" who have never heard of Dr. Codd or of normalization

You think that's bad? I just read a five hundred and thirty three word slashdot post by someone who's never heard of paragraphs.

Re:We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781390)

You know what's worse? Someone that actually counted the words in a five hundred and thirty three word post.

Besides, it was a rant, one of the most intelligently-composed rants I've yet read on Slashdot, and I fully believe that one so obviously literate as RailGunSally could certainly have inserted appropriate paragraph breaks had she chose. However, not using paragraphs lends a certain intense stream-of-consciousness aspect to a good rant.

So, Sally ... may I infer from your name that you're into high-powered electromagnetics?

Re:We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781454)

> You know what's worse? Someone that actually counted the words in a five hundred and thirty three word post.

maybe he used wc.

Re:We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (1)

Toby_Tyke (797359) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781554)

I didn't count them. I copy pasted and used the word count feature in Word. Took a good six or seven seconds. Work smarter, not harder.

Re:We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (1)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781882)

You are an asshole!]

I dont giev a rats ass how they ( whomever they are ) mod this.

Your still an asshole.

Re:We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (2, Insightful)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781423)

Halleluljah Sister, I hear you.

I have seen too much. I can cry no more. I want to know how to stop caring now.

Weed. Large quantities of weed.

Re:We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781650)

I work at a university, and I've talked to some people there about MS going into the AV business. What amazed me was that there were some people who find this a Good Thing. Even people who are considered extremely smart and routinely publish highly technical papers in established journals can be mindbogglingly stupid.

You forgot the part about the developers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781754)

"...who let themselves be f----d in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy"

Re:We Live Upon a Ship of Fools (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781772)

Whoaaa... slow down.. your erudite verbal challenge is commendable. But, hold on a bit cuz bill gates' brain is still draining out his ears, and ballmer is still hurling chairs.

Give'm time. They'll figure it out.. Wait, no.. give em HELL.

Wow, so propitious or timely: slash word image: "fervent"... that could describe you, my friend...

The current IT industry is sick (2, Insightful)

noctrl (452600) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780621)

And that is Microsoft, the sickest of them all. They are 80-95% of the whole industry alone, and everything else have to rotate around them.
And they soon have a new OS to sell..
As usual this OS is incomplete and a mess:

The event mostly provided a primer on security in Windows Vista, which led to a discussion on how attendees' products might work with the Windows XP successor.
...Ugh! Still not sorted out...

"Symbolic links can clutter up your machine with lots and lots of links that point nowhere" after the malicious software is removed, Kuo said. Protective tools will probably end up doing the clean-up, he said. It's a sign that on Vista systems, security software has more work to do than on earlier versions of the operating system.

Its a good thing the Server version still is some years ahead!

Ok, it might be a monopolizing tactic... (1, Interesting)

NexFlamma (919608) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780710)

... but you also have to look at the possibility that no one would know the inherent flaws in Windows better than Microsoft, and thusly, no one would be better able to create anti-malware software. Sure, it might press competitors out of business, and that's inherently bad, but if it could provide us with a single anti-malware solution that was self-sustaining and beat all the bad stuff out there, I would be quite happy with MS.

Re:Ok, it might be a monopolizing tactic... (4, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780781)

If they were smart enough to know the flaws, why not just fix them?

Re:Ok, it might be a monopolizing tactic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781034)

A program that allows you to run other programs is usually wanted (ie macros and plugins etc). Now if this program is malicious, the program itself might not know. Hence you need something watching to make sure its not doing something it shouldn't be. Who watches the watchers? Now that is another matter!

Microsoft = Kronos (3, Insightful)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780712)

Kronos was the ruler of the elder gods in Greek religion. He had a habit of swallowing his children whole because it had been predicted that one of them would overthrow him. The anti-malware companies are the children of Microsoft. Is it really surprising that they would rather not be eaten?

Re: Microsoft = Kronos (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780802)

> Kronos was the ruler of the elder gods in Greek religion. He had a habit of swallowing his children whole because it had been predicted that one of them would overthrow him. The anti-malware companies are the children of Microsoft. Is it really surprising that they would rather not be eaten?

Or that they would be eaten?

Save Symantec! (2, Insightful)

bigdavesmith (928732) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780864)

Before Microsoft jumped into the antivirus/spyware game, everything was okay, because although there were major security issues with Windows, other businesses jumped up to fill the gap and fix the problems. Life went on, and nobody got hurt (except the consumer, paying their $39.99 a year).

Now that Microsoft is in the game, they threaten to destroy these other businesses that were covering-ass before, and screw the consumer even more with price hikes once they dominate the market, but it's not less-right, it's more-wrong. This should never be accepted in the first place! If I put out software with major security flaws and then charged for more software to monitor the holes, I wouldn't sell a copy!

I doubt the government is going to do anything about this. We just have to hope people vote with their dollars once Vista comes out. I know I already have.

Enough paranoia for one day. (1)

Apathist (741707) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780868)

Oh please. I was at that conference, and the only thing that decreased the level of technical content was the fact that the conference content is now spread across three or so areas, some of which are attended by a majority of non-technical business types.

If you think about it, Microsoft has good reason to keenly share the security details of Vista, etc. - with trusted industry people, of course. Not only do they want to crow about all the cool stuff they're building, but it can only help improve the image of Windows to decrease the quantity and quality of security threats out there.

Surprise Surprise Surprise (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780875)

This is so surprising since Microsoft has a spotless record on security and always puts the end users security above its need to add more bells and whistles.

what i don't understand... (2, Insightful)

giriz (966704) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780881)

If MS makes money out of their security products - ppl say they are anti-competitive If MS makes their security products free - ppl say they are using their OS monopoly to kill the (windows specific) security companies. Solution: Fix the holes in OS instead of offering spyware/anti-virus tools for free/money.

Re:what i don't understand... (1)

realmolo (574068) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780931)

I agree.

BUT...let's be realistic. The odds that MS is going to be able to create a 109% (or close to it) operating system are very low. A lot of that is their fault, but some of it isn't. Windows is a huge target, and ANY holes will almost ALWAYS be found. That's just how it is. Nothing humans make is perfect, and every lock can be picked.

That being the case, why shouldn't they be allowed to include anti-virus and anti-malware functions with Windows? They're an extra layer of protection. And, honestly, they are the kinds of things that should be *included* with an operating system, anyway.

Of course, I'm in the minority of people (on Slashdot anyway) that thinks Microsoft should be allowed to bundle pretty much whatever they want with Windows. Especially software that qualifies as an "OS utility". Which AV and anti-malware definitely is.

Re:what i don't understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781897)

Finally sombody that thinks like me. Just because Microsoft has a "monopoly", I still think they should be able to include anything and everything they want in Windows. Every other operating system comes with tons more apps and utilities and nobody complains. Don't give me any crap! If I wrote an OS and it was popular and I was making money, I would be pretty pissed off that people wouldn't let me include applications that build onto the operating system.

Maybe Microsoft should just release a stripped version of Windows with nothing but a web browser then allow the user to get any "free" apps online. Of course people would still complain because apparently Microsoft can never do any "good". If you guys don't like Microsoft why don't you just not use it. If you can't stand your family members using Windows then insall linux or buy them and mac. Good luck and retaining them though.

Embrace and extend (1)

opieum (979858) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780891)

Embrace and extend. More like Expand and Conquer. You can cover crap with sugar but once you take a bite well...... Security with MS is kind of like naming a ship the unsinkable.

Wasn't there a microsoft antivirus (1)

Greventls (624360) | more than 7 years ago | (#15780971)

I remember a Microsoft Antivirus already having existed at one point in time. It would have had to have been over 10 years ago though in the early Windows 95 era. Did Microsoft have an Antivirus program in the past?

Yep (1)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781889)

Windows 3.1 and DOS 6, DOS 6.22 for sure. If I remember correctly, it could identify viruses but not remove them. It did identify the "Michaelangelo" virus, back in the days of the sneaker-net. However, it was generally suggested that you get a real anti-virus program.

What ever!!! (1)

ezwip (974076) | more than 7 years ago | (#15781064)

"With Microsoft entering the arena as a competitor to these anti-virus companies, one has to wonder about the effect on the free flow of information that ultimately benefits the consumer. "

Are you telling me that Microsoft is going to start charging money to fix their own mistakes?

That's the last straw. I'm switching to Linux.

My only comment is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781436)

Stop whining! If MS hurts the customer, that's too damn bad. The customers are ultimately responsible for the products and behavior that company. If it wasn't for the 'customers' buying their s**t like it was some sort of elixir-of-the-gods, MS wouldn't even be in a position to hurt customers in the first place.

speaking of unease over (in)security... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781746)

this one is off-topic, but I suppose this is serving from an ms-os-based server:

Does anyone know what this is about?

http://netalyzer.tf.edu.tw/~amadeus/cgi-bin/ipahtt p?daily/classtopn+current [tf.edu.tw]

163.15.36.246... looks like they are keeping stats on sites the busted or can bust into...

216.155.194.191 ths site kept buzzing my computer, so i did a whois on it and it timed out.

did a google on it and nothing came back until i lopped off the last octet....

Thanks...

Vista is already pain to work with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15781865)

i am behind hardware router with quite some restrictive rules at home, this worked for me well not needing any firewall crapware or A/V bloatware, but if vista is going to be such painful to work with just because some noobs connect modem directly to their PC i am going to skip this version.
i found it much more pain in butt than linux is and it is yet beta.
why the hell i need to confirm that i am not malicous software trying to change my desktop wallpaper?! WTF is that
last but not least, vista is so confusing that i cannot imagine those "users" who had problems with XP will even start with vista.
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