Feeds

Android malware victims offered free WinPhones by MS

'Haven't they suffered enough?'

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft is offering free Windows phones to Android malware victims, providing they are prepared to tell world+dog about their problems.

The marketing stunt - already given the hashtag #droidrage on Twitter - follows a run of publicity about android malware.

Ben Rudolph (@BenthePCGuy), the Microsoft Windows Phone "evangelist" behind the social network ploy, is offering the five people with the worst stories free Windows smartphones as an alternative. It's unclear if the Android virus victims will be either asked or required to take part in advertising campaigns.

The marketing initiative has already attracted comment from security watchers. Graham Cluley, senior consultant at anti-virus firm Sophos, described the move as a "somewhat below-the-belt" attempt to highlight the possible security deficiencies of Android rather than the benefits of Windows Phones.

The hubristic promotion also rather overlooks the fact that the vast majority of malware samples (tens of millions against thousands on Android) only affect Windows desktops. Perhaps Microsoft is getting back at all those Apple ads from a few years back.

"I guess it must be kind of thrilling for Microsoft - which has endorsed the #droidrage campaign - to find the malware boot on the other foot for once," Cluley writes. "After all, they have long suffered having the Windows desktop operating system negatively compared to the likes of Unix and Mac OS X when it comes to the levels of malware infection."

As the Windows Phone-using population grows, Redmond may well find itself dealing with a mobile malware problem of its own. Some Windows malware samples, largely proof-of-concept creations admittedly, have already targeted the platform. The Android malware outbreaks we've seen of late largely involved Trojanised versions of popular games designed to send premium-rate SMS texts or harvest personal information. In addition, the launch of the #droidrage campaign on Monday coincides with the discovery of a Windows Phone bug that reportedly disables messaging.

One security consultant joked that Android malware victims ought to be the last people who receive Windows Phone smartphones, even free ones. "Haven't they suffered enough?" writes Security BSides co-founder, Jack Daniel. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.