Feeds

Microsoft, stealth bombing and the hacker challenge

Games people don't play

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Usually, Microsoft is PR-adept when it comes to dealing with its customers and the media. But when it comes to understanding hackerdom, it hasn't a clue. Last Tuesday, Microsoft challenged hackers to attempt to break the Windows 2000 + IIS security system, and was foolish enough to hope that it would generate positive publicity and provide some free feedback. It set up what it called some "ground rules", as though it was some jolly game in which the participants would play for the sake of the game, but of course, both sides cheated. Naturally the server went down soon after it was made available, and all manner of other problems arose. Windows 2000 is only in beta and, judging by the problems that were seen, it will be in beta for a wee while yet until it has at least a modicum of resilience. Microsoft's spinmeisters are exercising their black arts on another hacker/cracker security image. This is the tale of the Back Orifice 2000 Trojan horse produced by the Cult of the Dead Cow. Microsoft would have us believe that stealth software is intrinsically evil and performs "malicious actions". But as cDc pointed out, the same stealth principles are included in Microsoft's Systems Management Server which, we recall, caused all manner of problems when NatWest was trying to use it for roll-outs, assisted by highly-paid Microsoft consultants who could not get it to perform properly. It's worth remembering that the guys wearing the white hats are the hackers. What a pity that their considerable talents are not put to more positive use -- although warning the world of serious software deficiencies is at least a public service. It's also worth noting Microsoft's record on stealth software. In 1995, Microsoft produced a registration wizard for Windows 95 that, if used online, allowed Microsoft to check covertly what rival (and MS) software was loaded on the PC. The information was used of course for Microsoft's marketing purposes, and -- who knows -- for policing illegal copies of Microsoft software. The adverse publicity from this dark episode made Microsoft squirm with embarrassment. ® See also LinuxPPC mounts hack challenge as MS fails to tempt crackers

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.