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Love Bug affects Linux: MS spokeswoman's crazed claim

Swiftly 'disappeared' by MS Benelux spinmeister

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A spokeswoman for Microsoft Benelux in the Netherlands has claimed that the love bug affects both Linux and Apple, in an interview with Egbert Kalse, a journalist with the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. The story subsequently appeared on the front page of the newspaper last Friday, and included: "A spokesperson from Microsoft Benelux denies [the virus only spreads on Microsoft software] and said that other operating systems such as Apple and Linux are hit." A glance at the VB script of the love bug shows with no doubt whatsoever that it is impossible for there to be any adverse effect on non-Microsoft software. But that's not all. We asked Microsoft Benelux, through its PR agency, to confirm the claim. We were called back three times by Michiel Gosens of Microsoft Benelux, who denied that this had been said by a Microsoft spokesperson, either from Microsoft Benelux or even by anybody from Microsoft in the US, with whom he had checked. In fact, he said, "Microsoft had not spoken with the newspaper", and that he would know because he dealt with press enquiries. We spoke to Egbert Kalse and he confirmed that he was "absolutely sure" about the response from a spokeswoman with Microsoft Benelux: he had called Microsoft Benelux and asked for the right person in PR with whom to discuss the virus. He remembered it clearly because, he said, she was very angry about his line of questioning. Angry enough to blurt out something totally demented, desperate and unbelievable, no doubt... ®

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