[LINK] security problems are not always Microsoft's fault

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Thu Nov 6 15:11:12 AEDT 2008

On Wed, 2008-11-05 at 19:05 -0800, David Goldstein wrote:
> Why am I not surprised amongst all the Microsoft bashing, some
> justified, some not, on Link that a report that shows security issues
> are not always Microsoft’s fault gets no mentions?

That's an easy one to answer.

     Because it was a report from Microsoft.

> Anyway, Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report shows security for
> Windows “has significantly improved, while at the same time the threat
> of computer viruses, frauds and other online scourges has become much
> more serious,” reports the New York Times. And security
> vulnerabilities have shifted to individual programmes.

They are *actually* reporting what Microsoft said. The context you have
added ("Anyway...") helps make it *look* like the New York Times itself
is saying security has significantly improved etc. The last sentence,
being unquoted, hammers the deception home. Is it from you? From the New
York Times? From Microsoft? Very smooth.

The Guardian is even worse, AND it quotes the New York Times article
(which, remember, is just parroting Microsoft) in a way that makes it
seem the New York Times is supporting the Microsoft line, when in fact
it was merely reporting the Microsoft line. Whoo, nice work indeed,

Silicon Republic is only marginally better. At least it is clear that
the information in the first part of the article is entirely
Microsoft's, but then they introduce someone from Ovum, a "research
firm". One wonders whether Ovum did the research Microsoft is trumpeting
about. If so, then Ovum is worthless as a confirming source, and SR
should have known better.

The worst effect of having Ovum in there is that (coupled with slack
writing) it becomes completely impossible to tell whether the statements
in the remainder of the article come from Microsoft, Ovum, or even
independent research by SR.

A quick Google of "Ovum Ltd Microsoft" suggests strongly that Ovum is a
very, very good friend to Microsoft.

So nope, I won't be lending those articles very much credence at all.
Perhaps when someone with even a shimmer of independence confirms the
details, maybe then.

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)                   +61-2-64957160 (h)
http://www.biplane.com.au/~kauer/                  +61-428-957160 (mob)

GPG fingerprint: DD23 0DF3 2260 3060 7FEC 5CA8 1AF6 D9E3 CFEE 6B28

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