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Microsoft: We Make Hackers Obsolete 626

bahamat writes "This article explains how Microsoft was forced to yank a magazine ad by the Advertising Standards Authority. In the ad MS claims that they'll make the hacker extinct. The tagline reads "Microsoft software is carefully designed to keep your company's valuable information in, and unauthorised people and viruses out. Which means that your data couldn't really be safer, even if you kept it in a safe. Which is great news for the survival of your company. But tragic news for hackers." Does MS really think that people are too stupid to remember what happened less than 2 months ago? My favorite quote from the article is "Clarke described Microsoft's claim as "laughable". "
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Microsoft: We Make Hackers Obsolete

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  • by mrjive ( 169376 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:25PM (#5571323) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if they used stock photography again this time?
  • by TheAntiCrust ( 620345 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:26PM (#5571327)
    So where is their product that makes hackers extinct! I havent heard of the release yet! This is great new! Does someone have a link to it?
    • by badboy_tw2002 ( 524611 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:43PM (#5571835)
      Its called "women" Once a hacker discovers them, he is powerless and forgets all about hacking. Fortunately the use of "women" isn't very widespread, so the saftey and security of Linux is safe.
    • by IdleTime ( 561841 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @11:06PM (#5571947) Journal
      Its a new undisclosed product. The problem is that it has so many bugs and security holes that they can not release it yet. Besides, their own development team has no clue how to track down security bugs so they actually depend on independent hackers to find them for MS. That was what they meant by independent expertise in the article!
    • by este ( 600616 ) <esteNO@SPAMsubtend.net> on Saturday March 22, 2003 @12:31AM (#5572364) Homepage Journal
      Try looking on Kazaa. I'm sure someone has a pre-release *hacked* version of it. :-)
    • Re:I cant wait! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by weaselgrrl ( 204976 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @03:29AM (#5573029)
      I just read this to my husband, a Microsoft Lead SDE from Windows NT/2000, with many years of experience shipping that product line. His comment was:

      "AAAAGGGGHHHHH! I want to throttle those ad people! What the **** are they thinking. What the **** are we paying them for? We know that our security *SUCKS*. We are working *hard* to improve it. We're the most hacked system and we are trying. AAAAARGH."

      My comment:

      If only more technically trained people were put in a tight-loop with marketing and advertising..... grrr.

      But this gets back to a greater problem... many product advertisements are from outer space when we look at them with a rational mind and, when appropriate, proper scientific background. But truth doesn't necessarily sell products.

      • Re:I cant wait! (Score:5, Informative)

        by MoreDruid ( 584251 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [diurderom]> on Saturday March 22, 2003 @07:42AM (#5573473) Homepage Journal
        If only more technically trained people were put in a tight-loop with markteting and advertising...
        You mean like Cisco [cisco.com] does? They require the Sales experts to be certified as well, with some requirements: Networking 101, minimum pass score: 80%
      • Re:I cant wait! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by neuroticia ( 557805 ) <neuroticia@ y a hoo.com> on Saturday March 22, 2003 @09:20AM (#5573619) Journal
        I suppose that claiming Microsoft is going to "make the hacker extinct" (future-tense, no definititve time span) isn't quite fraud, but it does walk the line, since the existance of Microsoft goads hackers, and claims that Microsoft is going to eliminate said hackers--it only further inflames an already passionately anti-MS crowd. Nothing that is that hated by a group as intelligent as hackers, or a group with as much free time as script kiddies, will ever be safe.

        Microsoft needs to watch their advertising people more carefully, as they're excellent at making the 'folks in the know' hate MS even more than they did already.

        However, the majority of humankind remains clueless. "Whaddayatalkin'about? Microsoft is THE ONLY OS!, it's secure as Fort Knox, and the only enterprise-ready solution!" Gah. They'll just look at an advertisement that says Microsoft is gonna make Hackers obsolete, and read it as though hackers *are* obsolete, spread the word, and keep on not bothering to patch their un-patched first-release of Win2k Server that comes complete with Nimda, Code Red, and other buggy little 'features'.

        • Re:I cant wait! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by neuroticia ( 557805 ) <neuroticia@ y a hoo.com> on Saturday March 22, 2003 @09:32AM (#5573644) Journal
          Okaaaayy.. I just finally got to read the actual text of the ad. (First time I tried the sever gave me a vb/asp error message. ;) ) I misinterpreted the Slashdot snippet as saying that Microsoft's ad was future-tense "going to make", which technically couldn't be called fraud unless they gave a definitive timeline or product. Serves me right for thinking "Even Microsoft couldn't be that blatantly fraudulent".

          I was wrong--it is blatant fraud. Its caption states: 'Microsoft software is carefully designed to keep your company's valuable information in, and unauthorised people and viruses out. Which means that your data couldn't really be safer, even if you kept it in a safe. Which is great news for the survival of your company. But tragic news for hackers.

          Nothing future-tense, or even realistic about that!

          Unless by "tragic" they mean a "tragic comedy of errors, which causes the hacker to double over laughing and results in severe stomach cramps."

          The MS marketing people are their own worst enemies.

  • by eodmightier ( 208901 ) <eod@NOSpAM.penismightier.com> on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:27PM (#5571333) Homepage Journal
    Instead of the ad showing the greasy hacker it should show the hacker with huge muscles and maybe like laser beams shooting from its eyes as it thrives in the microsoft environment. I bet then they'd run the ad.
  • Yeah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:27PM (#5571337)
    Maybe they've finaly refined their product to the point where you simply can't boot it anymore. Put your safe inside your computer and feel as safe as ever.
  • by GCP ( 122438 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:27PM (#5571339)
    Computing in Hell:

    The security of Windows, the ease of use of Linux, and a Macintosh mouse!
  • by yobbo ( 324595 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:28PM (#5571344)
    It IS hacker proof - we don't have access to the source, how are we supposed to hack on the code?

    *rim shot*
    • by Feztaa ( 633745 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @02:18AM (#5572796) Homepage
      It IS hacker proof - we don't have access to the source, how are we supposed to hack on the code?

      That's actually a fairly profound insight.

      Despite what the popular media will try to tell you, REAL hackers are the whitehats, people like Linus Torvalds or Richard Stallman. In that case, windows quite literally IS hacker proof... only MS's internal team has access to the source code, so only they can hack on it.

      What they probably were trying to say is that it's cracker proof, and that would have been the painfully obvious and blatant lie that everybody here is making it out to be.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:28PM (#5571346)
    Because it doesn't require a hacker to break into Microsoft products, any average user can do it.
  • uhhhh (Score:5, Funny)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld.gmail@com> on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:29PM (#5571353) Homepage
    I can't believe it; someone LYING in an ADVERTISEMENT?! This threatens the integrity of the entire advertising field!
    • by Erris ( 531066 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:33PM (#5571783) Homepage Journal
      I can't believe it; someone LYING in an ADVERTISEMENT?! This threatens the integrity of the entire advertising field!

      No, not really. Most firms are honest. Some firms exadurate, like Apple's famous "bicycle for your brain" hyperbole describing the Apple II or Oracle's "Unbreakable" advert. Microsoft, however is so dishonest that really large, generally clueless organizations notice:

      1. The US Federal Government: Convicted them of monoply.
      2. Wall Street: Moving to Linux and dumping the junk that gave them "Iloveyou", etc, and now,
      3. The Advertising Standards Authority of SA (ASA): noticed that M$ was full of holes.

      When you get to the point where the postman. bankers and marketing droids notice you suck and lie about it, man, it's over.

  • Windows 2000 Server:
    3 vulnerabilities in 7 yea--- days!
  • by writertype ( 541679 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:29PM (#5571360)
    It seems reasonable that, Oracle already having garnered the attention the press for its "Unbreakable" slogan, that Microsoft try it, too. (I'll let you argue amongst yourselves whether this is in keeping with Microsoft's traditional business practices.)

    Precendent's been set. But the correct response from the geek public has been to attempt to poke holes in an(y) absolutist claim, as is its obligation.
    • by 1984 ( 56406 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:37PM (#5571426)
      I've been suprised out how recently Oracle "Unbreakable" ads have been running (here in the US). I'm not in the UK at the moment, but given that Oracle products got thumped anew pretty quickly after Oracle decided to brag about being "unbreakable" I'm surprised nobody has asked the ASA to jump on it.

      After all, it's [cert.org] not exactly [cert.org] an infrequent [cert.org] problem.
    • by sacrilicious ( 316896 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:58PM (#5571570) Homepage
      My daily commute to/from work near Silicon Valley takes me on highway 101 in the Redwood City area. There are tons of billboards around but one always stands out, because it is the only billboard that is electronic. It is brighter than all the others, and it changes what it shows every five seconds or so.

      One of the most commonly seen ads on this electronic billboard is Oracle's "Unbreakable" farce.

      Last week a fellow cohort of mine was driving in at 6:30am and happened to glance at the billboard. It was showing the Blue Screen of Death.

  • by lightspawn ( 155347 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:29PM (#5571361) Homepage
    Remember the claims Cobol would make programmers obsolete by giving anybody the power of programming?

    That's how microsoft make hackers obsolete.
  • Ha (Score:4, Funny)

    by ruiner13 ( 527499 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:30PM (#5571364) Homepage
    I think i've already seen those hacker exterminator vans running around. It had an oversized MSN butterfly on the roof. The driver looked like a lawer.
  • by claygate ( 531826 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:30PM (#5571365)
    I am, pardon the lame gag, in "shock and awe" of Microsoft's blatant disregard for truth. I'm using win2k as I type this and I *like* win2k. But seriously, they have no business saying they keep your files as safe as a real safe. Advertising things that are completely false just makes me lose trust in your company. Maybe if they said "in the future we will try to have better security" but then it wouldn't be good advertisement.

    Moral of the story? Don't trust ads, try before you buy and read some consumer reports. I guess they don't have good reports for computers yet really. We don't have such a large choice like we do with automobiles.
  • by weakethics ( 99716 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:30PM (#5571368) Homepage
    Iraq proclaims itself "army-proof."
    I wonder what Tariq Aziz is doing after the war.
  • by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:31PM (#5571374)
    Microsoft's typical strategy at this point is to sue the ASA.

    ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
  • Standards (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jafosei ( 624959 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:33PM (#5571390) Journal
    Ah, if only that same standard was applied to all advertising. Can't provide independent verification of your claims? Then pull the ad.

    It might be the end of advertising as we know it.

    • by mekkab ( 133181 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:35PM (#5571790) Homepage Journal
      Actually, advertising regulations for mutual funds are super strict ( but then again, so are all the laws regulating mutual funds... but I digress). The SEC will fine you (well, your fund) big time if its advertisments violate regulations (clearly mentioning that any famous poeple in the ad are paid, guiding people to the prospectus, warning of risks, etc.)
      also- the NASD regulates its member's advertising as well.

      DISCLAIMER: I am not a securities lawyer, I'm married to a soon-to-be securities lawyer. All my knowledge comes from a paper she wrote for her Market Regulations class. If its any consolation, she got an "A".
  • by Anonvmous Coward ( 589068 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:33PM (#5571399)
    " In the ad MS claims that they'll make the hacker extinct. "

    I don't see what the problem is. It's true! Why be a hacker when you can do it all as a script kiddie?
  • by radon28 ( 593565 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:36PM (#5571421)
    From the Jargon Dictionary link in the article:

    hacker n. [originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe]

    Why would Microsoft even care about some crude pre-modern furniture makers? I am beginning to think there was more than one reason the advertisement got yanked.
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:38PM (#5571432) Journal
    Stallan once said if you stated a lie long enough it would become true.

    I remember how NT4 was supposed to be the unix killer. Anyone remember the microsoft ad on the internet which went something like this ...."Windows is reliable...Unix is reliable...Windows is scalable...Unix is scalable...Windows cost less then a $1000 dollars...???" ?

    At the same time Bill Gates did a show called scalability day. In the demonstration with Microsoft Transaction server they showed NT doing million of simulated hits for banking apps. Bill said if NT can do this with only pc hardware just imagine what it can do with 32 processor systems.

    What a joke. We all know that NT4 sucked bigtime and it was no solaris as Microsoft claimed.

    Same is true with this. Many companies like Motorolla and TI believed the lie and replaced all there unix systems with NT ones only to downgrade back to unix. NT just could not handle it and Microsoft transaction server was not the magical bullet Microsoft made it out to be.

    Its like the story of the boy who called wolf.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:03PM (#5571613)
      "Windows is reliable...Unix is reliable...Windows is scalable...Unix is scalable...Windows cost less then a $1000 dollars...???" ?
      This is why Linux is the Windows killer. Unless it's either made absolutely illegal to use anything but Windows, whether through copyright laws or other such foolery, or it's made impossible to use anything but Windows such as through a patent lockout of some type (it probably could've once happened, I doubt it could now), Linux will eventually be much easier to use, and have the brand recognition on the desktop that it needs to lure new customers in. It's already much better, more scalable, and far, far cheaper.

      Plus, it's also worth considering that eventually, the new PC user market will dry up. Within the next few generations, there won't be a large market of first time PC users to fool with flashy graphics and a fat guy dressed up like a butterfly. Kids are learning computers, and that's bad for Microsoft. Now's the time to sell your Microsoft stock, because as a company, they're doomed on _every_ front.
  • Of course they make hackers obsolete. I just got done spending a week making dotnet asp/vb code talk to a unix based web services. Did I want to learn about the wonders of a new webform? A few years back I could respect myself (somewhat) in the morning after some serious ATL development. I wonder if there is a 'hacker' audience anymore.

    Now what they did not say is 'we make Crackers obsolete'. Their marketing department gets one right and everyone gripes...
  • by fobbman ( 131816 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:42PM (#5571455) Homepage
    If anyone else was confused by the appearance of the "Advertising Standards Authority", it should be pointed out that this all occurred in South Africa, and not in the United Corporations of America.

    America, naturally, would never CONSIDER such an insightful group.

  • Definitions (Score:5, Informative)

    by miketang16 ( 585602 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:42PM (#5571458) Journal
    Um.. perhaps someone needs to enlighten Microsoft as to the real definition of hacker.

    Directly from the jargon file, a list of common definitions of hacker. Notice the 'malicious meddler' one...

    (Originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe) 1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary. 2. One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming. 3. A person capable of appreciating hack value. 4. A person who is good at programming quickly. 5. An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in "a Unix hacker". (Definitions 1 through 5 are correlated, and people who fit them congregate.) 6. An expert or enthusiast of any kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example. 7. One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations. 8. (Deprecated) A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around. Hence "password hacker", "network hacker". The correct term is cracker. The term "hacker" also tends to connote membership in the global community defined by the net (see The Network and Internet address). It also implies that the person described is seen to subscribe to some version of the hacker ethic. It is better to be described as a hacker by others than to describe oneself that way. Hackers consider themselves something of an elite (a meritocracy based on ability), though one to which new members are gladly welcome. Thus while it is gratifying to be called a hacker, false claimants to the title are quickly labelled as "bogus" or a "wannabee". 9. (University of Maryland, rare) A programmer who does not understand proper programming techniques and principles and doesn't have a Computer Science degree. Someone who just bangs on the keyboard until something happens. For example, "This program is nothing but spaghetti code. It must have been written by a hacker".
  • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:44PM (#5571471) Homepage Journal
    ..but can anybody out there make that claim? I doubt it. If you know enough to keep everybody out, you pretty much know enough to keep everybody out no matter what OS you're on. Windows' big problem (I'm referring only to NT/2K/XP, not 9x or ME. I wouldn't defend that line for nothing.) is its poor choice of defaults. Lock it down and it isn't half bad. I had an IIS server running for nearly 2 years without a single incident. The big thing I did (here's a free tip for you IIS users out there) was I installed 'URLScan' which applied a filter to all URS before parsing. This not only prevented people from trying to use buffer-overflow techniques to break in, but it also let me prevent very specific things from being run. Damn cool, but it really should come with IIS. Like I said, poor defaults.

    A Linux box, by default, is hardly more secure. Within a couple of weeks of building an Apache Server with the latest Redhat, it got rooted. Yay. You still have to patch it up, lock it down, and monitor it. I know the tools are there to make it more secure, but the problem is that you have to get to know it. I'm new to the Linux world, and as such I was more vulnerable to malicious attack than I was with IIS because I was unfamiliar with it.

    So I'm curious, who actually can make that claim? Nobody immediately springs to mind.
  • by lavalyn ( 649886 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:44PM (#5571476) Homepage Journal
    So it looks like Microsoft doesn't realize how lucky it has been in recent times.

    SQL Slammer - affected users had better be thankful the packets only caused congestion - a packet 5 times the size but had a damaging (as opposed to disruptive) payload would hurt a lot more.

    The WebDAV hole - a hell of a good job keeping hackers out of the US Army website.

    The JScript hole - so just by reading my (HTML and JScript enabled) mail, an attacker could potentially run arbitrary code on my computer?

    SirCam and Klez - information really does want to be free, it keeps escaping from Microsoft products!

    In Soviet Russia, Microsoft owns Hackers!
  • by ChaosMagic ( 657047 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:44PM (#5571480)
    Which is great news for the survival of your company. But tragic news for hackers.

    Even if it were true that Microsoft platforms were secure and immune to outside vulnerbilities, their advertisement implies that hackers would become extinct using their platforms.

    This should lead us to believe that anyone who cares to code or develop applications on a computer, or any company that wants to have or just use any applications post-Microsoft platform era, should no longer use their platforms as they make hackers extinct? It is rather a catch-22 situation for Microsoft is it not, that their platform will prevent anyone from developing it further once hackers are obsolete (although with a perfectly performing system why would they need to develop it further?)

    But thanks for the warning Microsoft, we should not develop for their platforms and must move to other platforms if we want to hack away at the system to create applications. How nice of them to advertise this fact.
  • by MoThugz ( 560556 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:51PM (#5571528) Homepage
    Who needs hackers when the Windows can exploit itself over and over again...

    I believe it's called self-abuse... for the more techie, it's known as digital-masturbation.
  • by mattACK ( 90482 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:53PM (#5571545) Homepage
    Banky: Alright, now see this? This is a four-way road, OK? And dead in the center is a crisp, new, hundred dollar bill. Now, at the end of each of these streets are four people, OK? Are you following?
    Holden: Yeah.
    Banky: Good. Over here, we have a publicly accessible, secure, and intelligently maintained Windows server. Down here, we have a self-hating, angry as fuck, agenda of rage, bitter Solaris admin. Over here, we got Santa Claus, and up here the Easter Bunny. Which one is going to get to the hundred dollar bill first?
    Holden: What is this supposed to prove?
    Banky: No, I'm serious. This is a serious exercise. It's like an SAT question. Which one is going to get to the hundred dollar bill first? The male-friendly lesbian, the man-hating dyke, Santa Claus, or the Easter bunny?
    Holden: The self-hating admin.
    Banky: Good. Why?
    Holden: I don't know.
    Banky: Because the other three are figments of your fucking imagination!

    http://us.imdb.com/Title?0118842 [imdb.com]

  • by EHUDs_Rhino ( 548263 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:53PM (#5571546)
    "814078: Security Update (Microsoft Jscript version 5.6, Windows 2000, Windows XP) Download size: 361 KB
    A security issue has been identified that could allow an attacker to run programs on a computer running Microsoft® Windows®. The attacker would first have to send you an e-mail message or entice you into visiting a malicious Web site. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. Once you have installed this item, it cannot be removed."
  • by hillct ( 230132 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:58PM (#5571572) Homepage Journal
    Argumentation and Rhetoric is a fascinating subject. The tools of rhetoric were applied skillfully in the caption of this ad. The key clain in the text of the ad is
    Microsoft software is carefully designed to keep your company's valuable information in, and unauthorised people and viruses out.
    This statement has a factual basis. Any reasonable person would agree that any software company would attempt to secure it's products and that any forward-thinking company would design their procucts with security in mind. The rest of the caption is an interpretation of the meaning of the above statement, and is fraised as such, the key stanza being Which means that...

    Any logical person would conclude that what follows will be a conclusion presented by the advertiser, based on the afore-mentioned fact.

    I have no doubt that some will argue that Microsoft software designers do not take security into consideration when designing software, or that Microsoft intentionally introduces security holes, so as to promote the purchase of upgrades to it's products (although msot security patches are distributed freely, think SUN and their policy of many years ago, requiring that companies wanting a bug fixes in Solaris were required to pay for the patch to be created).

    The other issue is code change. The products to which the advertisement refers MUST be based on new code, because we know that in the past Microsoft did not design software with security in mind, because Craig Mindie said so [pcw.co.uk]:
    "Many of the products we designed in the past have been less secure than they could have been because we were designing with features in mind rather than security," - Craig Mundie
    For this reason, IF the products are all based on new code, and IF you think that Microsoft would act in it's own best interest to sell more software and IF you believe that designing security in mind is likely to sell more product, then the ad is not misleading at all.

    The key here is to see that Microsoft is NOT CLAIMING that their software IS SECURE they are claiming that they try to design it so that it is secure, and then draw the conclusion (however ridiculous it may be) that it is in fact more secure than a vault, but this is a conclusion, not a statement of fact.

    • by error0x100 ( 516413 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:28PM (#5571758)

      No, the ad is misleading. It may be technically true, but it is still misleading in that it heavily implies something which is not true. Under ASA standards it only needs to be deliberately misleading to be chucked out, it doesn't have to be an outright lie. This is a good thing.

      It is quite obviously possible to mislead people without needing to specifically tell an actual lie, but in the ASA's view, it is not about whether or not a company is technically lying, but about whether or not they are deceiving people. This makes perfect sense to me; deception is wrong regardless of whether or not a lie was required to do it.

  • two months?!?!? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by evenprime ( 324363 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:02PM (#5571599) Homepage Journal
    bahamat wrote: Does MS really think that people are too stupid to remember what happened less than 2 months ago?

    You don't need to look that far back. Try this week [slashdot.org]. It seems as though Microsoft has an ongoing program to nurture and feed the *acker types of the world.
  • by sielwolf ( 246764 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:03PM (#5571608) Homepage Journal
    "Lies, Damn Lies, and Microsoft Adverts"
  • Bwahahahahaha! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <.gro.ognats. .ta. .todhsals.> on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:05PM (#5571626) Homepage Journal
    From the article: Microsoft submitted documentation to substantiate its claims about the security of the software and said the advert was not designed to mislead the consumer.

    Their substantiation is pretty fucking worthless IMHO, as long as the software includes a EULA that absolves Microsoft of any responsiblity should the software NOT be as secure as they claim.

  • by ilctoh ( 620875 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:05PM (#5571630)
    Now, hang on just a minute: they may be right. Now, you won't even need the skills that hackers have in order to breech Windows security. Now, "for the benefit of the customer" Microsoft will make it possible for any owner of a Microsoft Operating System to hack into a computer using Microsoft's new "Unauthorized Acess Wizard". Now anyone from an elementary school student to an old Windows Pro will be able to enjoy the excitement of breaching the highly complex layers of Windows security. For the more experienced users, Microsoft offers the "Advanced Hacking Wizard Professional Edition", which strategically sends "Fatal Exception Errors" to any 3rd party firewall or security program, causing them to shutdown while the user is able to deface websites, delete files, plant time bombs, or many more of the exciting features found in Service Pack 5: Hacker's Edition. (NOTE: Service Pack 6 should be downloaded immediatly after Service Pack 5 in order to fix what Microsoft broke the last time they tried to fix something)
  • by isomeme ( 177414 ) <cdberry@gmail.com> on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:06PM (#5571632) Homepage Journal
    Evil l337 h4x0r: Mwah ha ha! I am going to break into this system, cause it to become slow and unreliable, trash lots of files, turn the security framework into pure unmanageable chaos, and make it send out IP packets violating several RFCs!"


    Elh: Ah, crap, it's already running Windows.
  • by Glial ( 659341 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:12PM (#5571670)
    Microsoft Disclaimer: Please uplug all Cat-5 and/or modem cables from your system and do not connect to any networks, especially the internet in order to take full advantage of our "Hacker Exterminator" Technology. Wireless networking is included in this disclaimer. Thank you for choosing Microsoft.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:13PM (#5571675)
    The two oldmen from Muppet Show:

    -- I believe this ad is true?

    -- Huh?

    -- They'll be secure in a billion years and we'll be all extinct!
  • Ironic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bshroyer ( 21524 ) <bret@bretshro[ ].org ['yer' in gap]> on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:14PM (#5571679)
    I wonder how many crackers and script kiddies cut their teeth on Microsoft vulnerabilities. I'd wager that the vast majority of the black hats out there owe their "careers" to Microsoft software.
  • by mr_don't ( 311416 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:17PM (#5571709)

    Hi! Maybe I didn't read the article carefully enough, but I was wondering anyone had a higher-dpi image of the ad! I want to put it up in our office next to my Slackware box - I love the image of the Hacker! It's hilarious!

  • by dodgyville ( 660660 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:29PM (#5571762) Homepage Journal
    I tuned into this story hoping for some good old-fashioned Microsoft flaming, if only to take my mind off the war for a few minutes. Instead, I found a pale collection of vaguely anti-microsoft grumbling. What's the matter, people??? If we don't fight microsoft with our regular ferocity, then the terrorists have won!

  • Actually, to make this true you would really just need to revise the End User Licensing Agreement:

    By clicking "I agree" below, the user warrants that:

    1. 'carefully designed' means 'cobbled together from papers we found in a dumpster at Xerox Parc in 1981 and have been trying to figure out ever since.'
    2. 'Your company's valuable information' excludes any material represented on fixed or removable storage media, in any volatile or non-volatile memory, or intercepted network communications.
    3. Microsoft warrants that the operating system will keep viruses from damaging the system. For the purposes of this agreement, 'virus' shall be defined as any file ending in '.txt' or '.jpg'
    3. Microsoft warrants that the operating system will keep 'unauthorized people out.' For a person to be recognized as 'unauthorized' for the purposes of this agreement, they must be registered in a handwritten book at the corporate headquarters of Microsoft's Solomon Islands subsidiary. Names may be added to this book in person, between the hours of 8:00am and 8:10am on the eleventh of every month beginning with "F." By appointment only.


  • by Control-Z ( 321144 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:43PM (#5571838)

    "The 1974 Ford Pinto: Featuring a non-exploding gas tank!"

    "Amtrak: No more deadly derailments, we promise!"

    "Slashdot: Never a duplicate story!" ;)
  • bring in the script kiddies!
  • Too stupid? (Score:5, Funny)

    by person-0.9a ( 161545 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @11:01PM (#5571926)
    Does MS really think that people are too stupid to remember what happened less than 2 months ago?

    They don't just think it... They count on it.

    For example, just pulled from the Microsoft outlook home page:

    If you have Outlook version 2002, you already have industry-leading technologies helping to protect your data.

    Evidently, Security Bulletin MS03-003 is some of that industry-leading technology.

  • by dcmeserve ( 615081 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @11:04PM (#5571936) Homepage Journal
    Well, of course. Who needs hackers, when Microsoft will provide all such services for you, so conveniently?

    It says so in the license!

  • by rice_burners_suck ( 243660 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @11:20PM (#5572018)
    What the hell kind of STUPID doublespeak is this?

    Microsoft must be really, really stupid to think that anybody is going to fall for that. The reliability of their software is a joke across the industry that EVERYBODY knows about.

    Being an advocate of alternative software, I talk to a lot of people about Microsoft before I even mention that I advocate other stuff. I have never heard someone say that Microsoft's stuff is reliable. As a matter of fact, even the most naive computer users have stated plainly that Microsoft causes all kinds of trouble for them. It is a widely known fact.

    So why would Microsoft make a stupid claim like this? My feeling is that they have a serious break in communication between their marketing department, which probably uses blueberry candy-apple Macs to make glossy, lickable presentations, and all other departments, which use UNIX for all of their operations because they know how much Windows sucks (because they made it) and refuse to use it.

  • This is crazy talk.

    What about all of the critical level security announcements this week??
  • by Frohboy ( 78614 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @11:22PM (#5572031)

    It's great that Microsoft's advertising claims were shot down in this case for being unjustifiable, but they've still got some other pretty nasty falsehoods floating around out there.

    I don't know if this particular campaign is appearing at American schools, but certainly at Canadian universities, Microsoft has launched a fairly heavy ad campaign for academic-priced software (I've seen the ads at Waterloo and Simon Fraser.) The ads feature bold print saying "Getting software for any less would be illegal", and in smaller print, below: "90% off the estimated retail price!". (See a banner ad of it at the University of Waterloo computer store [uwaterloo.ca].)

    Hmm... given that I've paid less than their listed prices for the software on my computer, I guess they're accusing me of breaking the law. It's too bad that a lot of their competition's software is still cheaper (e.g. I use OpenOffice, myself, but I'm pretty sure I could get a full-priced copy of StarOffice for less than the student-priced Office XP.)

    I would love to see Sun start a competing campaign saying "Getting certain other software at these prices would be illegal. Save money and keep yourself out of jail: use StarOffice."

  • A Safe? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob Simpson ( 533360 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @11:42PM (#5572132)
    To give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they meant an open safe, with a big arrow pointed towards it and the words "FREE STUFF!" spray painted on the wall. ;-)
  • by crucini ( 98210 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @01:01AM (#5572473)
    Microsoft software is carefully designed to keep your company's valuable information in, and unauthorised people and viruses out.

    This message may appeal to naive purchasers, but does not address real-world threats. Most corporate fraud is committed by insiders. Microsoft is proposing an overly simplistic threat model: the villains are outside the wall. In reality, villains inside the wall account for greater damage.
  • by Bull999999 ( 652264 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @01:14AM (#5572519) Journal
    I guess you guys didn't read the extra fine print. It says that the user must... 1. Use a hardware firewall with both incoming and outgoing ports blocks.

    2. Use Mozilla instead of IE and Outlook Express.

    3. Have two anti-virus programs that checks for updates every five minutes.

    4. Sanitize all floppy disks with magnets before use.

    5. Check for and download Windows updates daily, unless the updates undoes the previous fix (e.g. Slammer) or breaks the Windows. Consumers should buy a second system and a second copy of Windows.

    6. Leave the system off. If you must use your computer, try your local library computer lab. If you must use your home computer, turn it on just long enough to do your business and turn it off when finished. Note that acorrding to EULA, by merely turning on the system, you are acting against the recommandation of MS and therefore, MS is not liable for any damages.

    7. Upgrade to the new version of Windows as soon as it is released. Delete your old partition and do a clean install as the new and improved Windows magically wipes away your past problems.

    8. If you get hacked with the latest version of Windows, that probably means that you are a pirate.

    9. If you are not a pirate, that means that you must have violated one of the clauses above and MS shall not be held liable.

    10. If you followed all the clauses above, by EULA, you must submit the problem to us, so that we can put a clause excluding your error in the future EULA (to be installed with the next patch) so that MS MS shall not be held liable. If you do not submit your error, you are in violation of EULA and MS shall not be held liable.
  • by danmart ( 660791 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @02:13AM (#5572778) Homepage Journal
    Just shows how low the media whores in this country. No objection to printing that in Time magazine. An African country can see the absurdity of these ads and force retractions, but not here.
  • by Eric Damron ( 553630 ) on Saturday March 22, 2003 @02:40AM (#5572877)
    Tell a big enough lie and people will believe you.
  • by Florian Weimer ( 88405 ) <fw@deneb.enyo.de> on Saturday March 22, 2003 @06:05AM (#5573341) Homepage
    Steyn Laubscher, Microsoft account director at Lowe Bull Advertising agency, says Microsoft is in the process of having Windows XP Professional and Windows .Net server 2003 evaluated by independent experts against the common criteria.

    The result of this evaluation is that both products are not safe to use on the Internet and as a public terminal:

    Any other systems with which the TOE communicates are assumed to be under the same management control and operate under the same security policy constraints. [...]

    Authorized users possess the necessary authorization to access at least some of the information management by the TOE and are expected to act in a cooperating manner in a benign environment.

    (Read [microsoft.com] it yourself.)

    So Windows is indeed certified to be hacker-proof, unless you connect it to the Internet, or the hacker is unwilling to cooperate.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger