Microsoft in multiple security rows

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Oct 24, 2006

AV firms, Apple and Secunia embroiled in MS spats.

Operating system giant Microsoft is engaged on multiple fronts in a series of security-related PR battles.

The longest running dispute, concerning access to the forthcoming Vista release of Windows, has become increasingly heated, as McAfee and Symantec, after lengthy lobbying for more information and control, have not only criticised concessions made by Microsoft as inadequate and too late, but claim the promises are unlikely to be fulfilled.

After Kaspersky came out on Microsoft's side some time ago, Sophos has now weighed into the battle with a strongly worded statement from skyscraping CTO Richard Jacobs, claiming the likes of McAfee and Symantec have made inadequate preparations for the Vista release. McAfee has responded by suggesting, in a press release from its VP of Worldwide Corp Comms Siobhan MacDermott, that Sophos is unaffected because it is a 'single product vendor', unlike 'innovative security risk management vendor' McAfee.

Other battles involving Microsoft include the recent virus-infected iPod issue. After Apple's support page warning customers of the danger included criticism of Microsoft for making its OS vulnerable to such malware, Microsoft release scanning expert Jonathan Poon retaliated in a personal blog slamming both Apple's attitude and its security know how.

On a more traditional front, Secunia released details of a vulnerability in IE7 last week, less than a day after full release of the new browser. The report on a content disclosure hole in mhtml handling was then described, in a Microsoft Security Response Center blog entry, as 'technically inaccurate' - the flaw, claimed blogger Christopher Budd, was in Outlook Express not IE7. Secunia has responded by rubbishing the Microsoft statement, insisting that the bug is correctly labelled as it affects users of IE7, and that Microsoft's spin not only attempts to hide the problem, but also risks causing confusion among users and admins.

'Microsoft's reputation for security has always been shaky,' said John Hawes, Technical Consultant at Virus Bulletin. 'With all these debates raging, it's going to be hard for them to improve their credibility and reestablish trust among their user base. It's important to remember that while news and PR can be spun and distorted, in the long term it's sound products and policies that really count.'

On the horizon, an entry in anti-spyware firm Sunbelt Software's blog shows Microsoft hijacking the SpySweeper trademark of fellow spyware-stopper Webroot, and claims the example disproves Microsoft's claims not to be targeting users of existing security products.

Posted on 24 October 2006 by Virus Bulletin

 Tags

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
googleplus.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

The SHA-1 hashing algorithm has been 'shattered'

Researchers from Google and CWI Amsterdam have created the first known collision of the SHA-1 hashing algorithm, making a very strong case to ditch it.

Throwback Thursday: Once a researcher...

VB was saddened to learn this week of the passing of one of the pioneers of the AV industry, Ross Greenberg. This Throwback Thursday we look back at an interview with Ross in November 1995.

VB2017: What is happening in the threat landscape and what are we doing against it? Submit a proposal in the VB2017 CFP!

Have you analysed a new online threat? Do you know a new way to defend against such threats? Then submit an abstract in the CFP for VB2017!

VB2016 paper: APT reports and OPSEC evolution, or: these are not the APT reports you are looking for

APT reports are great for gaining an understanding of how advanced attack groups operate - however, they can also provide free QA for the threat actors. Today, we publish a VB2016 paper by Gadi Evron (Cymmetria) and Inbar Raz (Perimeter X), who…

Security for your ears: recommended infosec podcasts

Industry veteran Mikko Hyppönen recently urged would-be security researchers to ditch their favourite pop music and listen to security podcasts on their commute to work instead. Virus Bulletin Editor Martijn Grooten shares his favourite security…