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
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
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
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
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.