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Cash for Silence
Week of February 12, 2002
Bill's had a great week. So has everyone else.
In the wacky world of security, this has been one wacky week. Weeks are basically only five wacky days, but still and all what a week it has been. While Bill Gates declared a moratorium on creating any more buggy code it seems like all the people who hate him are out en masse to get him while the getting is good. And they're getting him too.
Vulnerability after vulnerability for Microsoft products is cropping up in BugTraq, and when Microsoft announces the mother of all IE patches even the slow-thinking mainstream e-zines admit they can see it doesn't fix half of them. Everyone is suddenly awake, tired as can be of Bill Gates and his license policies for inferior products, and they're on the attack, mustering all their forces to get him while they have the chance. The world has finally told Bill Gates enough is enough, and they don't like him particularly either.
The MSN Messenger scandal: First we find out it thinks it's ET and is trying to phone home all the time and it's even trying to pretend it's a UPnP device to get past firewalls even when people think UPnP is turned off - lovely stuff. Then someone discovers this awful idiotic piece of megalomania has - naturally - a gaping hole in it and that anyone - any malicious site - can trigger the same effect.
And then it's discovered what further damage occurs with an unpatched IE - it's monotonous, it's nauseating, it's just too much.
But there's more, for we have a new IIS Scandal as well: NtWak0 announced several discoveries about IIS this week at BugTraq and told everyone 'just try googling 'writeto.cnf' if you don't believe me', and people did - and gawked and gawked, and it was now more than too much.
And then came the new Hotmail exploit, and so forth and so on. And the way it looks now, it's not going to end either. The baddies are definitely out for blood. They want Bill Gates' head on a bloody chopping block. And they've almost got it there already. It's highly unlikely Microsoft can stand the strain.
Maybe Bill should stay in Sweden. After all, Sweden is known for its friendly policy towards billionaires - they tax them to death and treat them to a couple of Pripps stor stark on the weekends - and Bill could rent a typically rustic red summer cottage out in the Swedish countryside with an orange tile roof, with no electricity or running water, with no phone or computer or Internet connection, with only a wood stove...
And he could just stay there and HIDE.