Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Jan 2010 23:12 UTC
Microsoft Microsoft has no plans to pull out of China, its chief executive said on Thursday, playing down concerns about recent cyber-attacks and censorship raised by rival Google Inc. "There are attacks every day. I don't think there was anything unusual, so I don't understand," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told Reuters after a meeting on modernizing government services at the White House.
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Ballmer is balmy
by sigzero on Thu 14th Jan 2010 23:55 UTC
sigzero
Member since:
2006-01-03

Anything to upstage Google.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Ballmer is balmy
by umccullough on Fri 15th Jan 2010 00:06 UTC in reply to "Ballmer is balmy"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Anything to upstage Google.


What's funny is - his "I don't understand" statements, while perhaps perfectly valid, really just make him sound stupid and uninformed.

Furthermore, reading his statements with the appropriate goggles on just makes it seem like Microsoft simply doesn't care where the daily attacks on their infrastructure originate from, since they're probably so commonplace they can't be bothered to investigate any longer.

In the end, the real question becomes: What if Microsoft *was* being targeted by Chinese government and this became public information, would that change Ballmer's mind? Currently, he seems to be espousing: "doesn't matter to us cuz we don't believe it's actually happening", but their story may change over time.

Wouldn't it be twisted if in the end, it turns out some corporation had staged the attacks on Google and other companies by hiring people in China, hoping that the Chinese government would be blamed, causing strife between these organizations and China in hopes that they would exit the market there?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Ballmer is balmy
by markob on Fri 15th Jan 2010 09:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Ballmer is balmy"
markob Member since:
2005-07-06

What's funny is - his "I don't understand" statements, while perhaps perfectly valid, really just make him sound stupid and uninformed.

Not trying to bash, but just SOUND stupid? While Gates as CEO was respected by most people (and still is), even by those who dislike Microsoft for any reason, Ballmer is a joke, very unprofessional and has many times shown he has no understanding and knowledge about technology, he's just an over ignorant PR figure doing nothing for Microsof but harm. I was shocked by his statement but at the same time not so shocked as "nothing new" crossed my mind.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Ballmer is balmy
by Karitku on Fri 15th Jan 2010 18:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ballmer is balmy"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

"What's funny is - his "I don't understand" statements, while perhaps perfectly valid, really just make him sound stupid and uninformed.
Not trying to bash, but just SOUND stupid? While Gates as CEO was respected by most people (and still is), even by those who dislike Microsoft for any reason, Ballmer is a joke, very unprofessional and has many times shown he has no understanding and knowledge about technology, he's just an over ignorant PR figure doing nothing for Microsof but harm. I was shocked by his statement but at the same time not so shocked as "nothing new" crossed my mind. "
I think you are totally wrong. If I would be shareholder I would be glad that CEO of company says they are gonna stay in most growing market in earth when the biggest competitor is leaving that place. But I doubt Google is actually leaving, too much opportunity to lose for such small PR win. Like I say those people who truly want to save world, just shoot yourself you only gonna harm the planet.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Ballmer is balmy
by Ikshaar on Fri 15th Jan 2010 19:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ballmer is balmy"
Ikshaar Member since:
2005-07-14

I think you are totally wrong. If I would be shareholder I would be glad that CEO of company says they are gonna stay in most growing market in earth when the biggest competitor is leaving that place. But I doubt Google is actually leaving, too much opportunity to lose for such small PR win. Like I say those people who truly want to save world, just shoot yourself you only gonna harm the planet.

If China is stealing their IP, how long do you think the shareholders are going to like it... get real, Google said something because it was good PR AND it was needed to stop the stealing of their IP.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Ballmer is balmy
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sat 16th Jan 2010 15:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ballmer is balmy"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

I would be glad that CEO of company says they are gonna stay in most growing market in earth when the biggest competitor is leaving that place.



Google isn't the biggest search engine in China. They only had 25%. China's homegrown (naturally) version, Baidu, I think its called, is the leader.

MS will not gain anything in the Chinese search market for the same reason that Google didn't: the Chinese won't allow it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ballmer is balmy
by lemur2 on Fri 15th Jan 2010 09:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Ballmer is balmy"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Anything to upstage Google.


What's funny is - his "I don't understand" statements, while perhaps perfectly valid, really just make him sound stupid and uninformed.

Furthermore, reading his statements with the appropriate goggles on just makes it seem like Microsoft simply doesn't care where the daily attacks on their infrastructure originate from, since they're probably so commonplace they can't be bothered to investigate any longer.
"

Perhaps he doesn't care because the attacks were made against Google.

The funny thing is, Microsoft even made it all possible in the first place:

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/01/microsoft-warns-of-ie...

http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3858866/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/14/cyber_assault_followup/

Hmmmm.

Exactly how comfortable can anyone be when using Microsoft software, anyway?

BTW, considering the means used by the Chinese to conduct their attack on Google, exactly who was upstaged?

Edited 2010-01-15 09:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Ballmer is balmy
by talaf on Fri 15th Jan 2010 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ballmer is balmy"
talaf Member since:
2008-11-19

Though Ballmer is dumb, you act like there hasn't been 0days on Linux ever. Get real, softwares have flaws, every single one of them. Even OpenBSD has had vulnerabilities.

Well you rather act like you wanna spread your bias. Which is pretty clear to everyone on this site these days.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Ballmer is balmy
by lemur2 on Fri 15th Jan 2010 12:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ballmer is balmy"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Though Ballmer is dumb, you act like there hasn't been 0days on Linux ever. Get real, softwares have flaws, every single one of them. Even OpenBSD has had vulnerabilities.

Well you rather act like you wanna spread your bias. Which is pretty clear to everyone on this site these days.


For a virus to spread via a browser, there has to be three things happen:

(1) There has to be a remote code execution vulnerability in the browser
(2) The browser has to still be vulnerable (no security fix is yet available), and
(3) there has to be a malware payload available that can target the undelying OS.

In this particular instance, for almost all versions of IE on Windows, all three of these conditions were met. This is not the first time this has occurred, and as a consequence there are literally hundreds of millions of malware-compromised Windows machines out there running today.

AFAIK, there has never been a case where all three conditions were met at the same time for any browser on a fully-up-to-date Linux system. The first condition is very rare for Linux, the second does occur from time to time but the duration is very short, and the number of software packages that satisfy the third condition can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

This is not bias, these are just the plain facts.

Why would you even try to pretend otherwise?

Edited 2010-01-15 12:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Ballmer is balmy
by strcpy on Fri 15th Jan 2010 13:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Ballmer is balmy"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20


(1) There has to be a remote code execution vulnerability in the browser
(2) The browser has to still be vulnerable (no security fix is yet available), and
(3) there has to be a malware payload available that can target the undelying OS.


AFAIK, there has never been a case where all three conditions were met at the same time for any browser on a fully-up-to-date Linux system. The first condition is very rare for Linux, the second does occur from time to time but the duration is very short, and the number of software packages that satisfy the third condition can be counted on the fingers of one hand.


Here again spreading FUD, are we?

(1) Firefox has had plenty of these. So has Epiphany. Hell, even Lynx has had these.

(2) That is a so-called zero day. Firefox has had those too, you know.

(3) Go to a site (now done though) like milw0rm. There are plenty for "payloads" for Linux, and new come almost every day.

You sir, you're a bad troll.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Ballmer is balmy
by lemur2 on Sat 16th Jan 2010 01:35 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Ballmer is balmy"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"
(1) There has to be a remote code execution vulnerability in the browser
(2) The browser has to still be vulnerable (no security fix is yet available), and
(3) there has to be a malware payload available that can target the undelying OS.


AFAIK, there has never been a case where all three conditions were met at the same time for any browser on a fully-up-to-date Linux system. The first condition is very rare for Linux, the second does occur from time to time but the duration is very short, and the number of software packages that satisfy the third condition can be counted on the fingers of one hand.


Here again spreading FUD, are we?

(1) Firefox has had plenty of these. So has Epiphany. Hell, even Lynx has had these.

(2) That is a so-called zero day. Firefox has had those too, you know.

(3) Go to a site (now done though) like milw0rm. There are plenty for "payloads" for Linux, and new come almost every day.

You sir, you're a bad troll.
"

Not at all. There have been very, very few cases of Linux systems being compromised through browsing. Virtually all such attacks are directed Windows systems, because having an 0day for Linux is such a rare event, always rapidly closed, and despite your claims there are few malware payloads for Linux in comparison to what is available for Windows. Indeed, AFAIK, there is even an underground market in Windows malware payloads.

The proof is in the pudding. There are literally hundreds of millions of malware-compromised Windows systems out there, and very, very few malware-compromised Linux systems (if any at all).

Edited 2010-01-16 01:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Ballmer is balmy
by talaf on Fri 15th Jan 2010 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Ballmer is balmy"
talaf Member since:
2008-11-19

So, for you, there has never been any Firefox vulnerabilities (or any browser for that matter) on Linux? There has never been any security hole in Linux either? Way to live in your own little fantasy world.

You're confused between the reality of software vulnerabilities and the pseudo-security given by the fact that no malware creator targets underused platforms. If this was a real targeted strike, and their target had used FF+Linux, you could bet your sweet ass they would have had available 0days too.

Btw, where do you think the term "rootkit" comes from? It's not called Administratorkit for a reason. Malware and security holes are not something that are restricted to Windows. You are safer from malware and viruses and exploits on any unices because you're not part of the major target, but you're certainly not immune, do not kid yourself.

Edited 2010-01-15 13:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Hotmail?
by fxer on Fri 15th Jan 2010 02:46 UTC
fxer
Member since:
2005-08-06

It sounded to me like Google finally made a large issue out of the attacks because it was the Gmail accounts of human rights activists that were being targeted by the Chinese government. Ballmer's comments just make it sound like he doesn't care if the Chinese hack activists accounts at Hotmail.

Reply Score: 4

I wonder.....
by ballmerlikesgoogle on Fri 15th Jan 2010 02:49 UTC
ballmerlikesgoogle
Member since:
2009-10-23

If he also doesn't understand why Microsoft gave access to its operating system source code to the Chinese government.

http://english.people.com.cn/200303/04/eng20030304_112657.shtml

I guess I don't understand why now I won't necessarily make a purchase of Windows anymore.....

Reply Score: 2

RE: I wonder.....
by strcpy on Fri 15th Jan 2010 04:32 UTC in reply to "I wonder....."
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

If he also doesn't understand why Microsoft gave access to its operating system source code to the Chinese government.

http://english.people.com.cn/200303/04/eng20030304_112657.shtml

I guess I don't understand why now I won't necessarily make a purchase of Windows anymore.....


Bah. It is like "now you know why I don't use Linux" after mentioning that the source code is there for everyone to see it. Believe it or not, it is not that hard to get access to Windows source code. And many, many people outside Microsoft have seen it. FUD.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I wonder.....
by lemur2 on Fri 15th Jan 2010 13:15 UTC in reply to "RE: I wonder....."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"If he also doesn't understand why Microsoft gave access to its operating system source code to the Chinese government.

http://english.people.com.cn/200303/04/eng20030304_112657.shtml

I guess I don't understand why now I won't necessarily make a purchase of Windows anymore.....


Bah. It is like "now you know why I don't use Linux" after mentioning that the source code is there for everyone to see it. Believe it or not, it is not that hard to get access to Windows source code. And many, many people outside Microsoft have seen it. FUD.
"

Here is some more FUD if you like:

http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&sid=201001142257095...

http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&sid=201001142257095...

Great, hey? Backdoors and secret deals to give away your privacy in the name of Microsoft's profit and trying to crush any competition to Microsoft?

Well, Microsoft have done some (pretty well documented) shoddy things in the past in order to try to eliminate competition:

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2010011422570951

... but even so, this latest stuff seems a bit too far-fetched even for me. Still, as you point out ... the Chinese government have seen the source code to Windows. It is not as if the Chinese government and Microsoft programmers are exactly participating in a full-public-scrutiny-collaboration-and-meritocracy mutual project, either.

Edited 2010-01-15 13:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I wonder.....
by strcpy on Fri 15th Jan 2010 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I wonder....."
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Great, hey? Backdoors and secret deals to give away your privacy in the name of Microsoft's profit and trying to crush any competition to Microsoft?


You must be proud of yourself.

You are one of a kind.

You are one of those who believe everything they read in the Internet. Even merrier that your so-called "references" are known Linux advocacy sites.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I wonder.....
by lemur2 on Sat 16th Jan 2010 01:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I wonder....."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" Great, hey? Backdoors and secret deals to give away your privacy in the name of Microsoft's profit and trying to crush any competition to Microsoft?


You must be proud of yourself.

You are one of a kind.

You are one of those who believe everything they read in the Internet. Even merrier that your so-called "references" are known Linux advocacy sites.
"

Well, despite the fact that Groklaw has well-documented proof of everything that it posts, I did say in the exact same post as you quoted that "this latest stuff seems a bit too far-fetched even for me".

So, what exactly is your motivation for misquoting (by omission) what I said?

Edited 2010-01-16 01:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I wonder.....
by shotsman on Fri 15th Jan 2010 17:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I wonder....."
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

The last Groklaw article you quote is hardly FUD

The one your point to is documenting ALL the records and exhibits from a well known court case.
Please explain how doing this is somehow FUD????

If you don't then sir, may I humbly suggest you are nothing more than a TROLL.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I wonder.....
by strcpy on Fri 15th Jan 2010 17:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I wonder....."
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Here is a site that documents ALL the records and exhibits well known cases.

http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/Documents.htm

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I wonder.....
by shotsman on Fri 15th Jan 2010 20:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I wonder....."
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

PJ (of Groklaw) won't trust any source unless she can verify it. This is why Groklaw has been (so far) free from lawsuits aledging slander/libel.

There is an effort underway to convert all of the tons of exhibits in Comes vs Microsoft into a readily searchable and verifable archive.

As she has been equated 'to a committee of IBM lawyers' in the past as well as having numberous personal threats against her, I tend to come down on her side in this. She has nothing to gain from spreading lies. From my experience as a lurker(aka Anonymous) on Groklaw she goes out of her way to verify all the things she posts. FUD, by definition, can't be easily verified.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I wonder.....
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sat 16th Jan 2010 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I wonder....."
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

Here is a site that documents ALL the records and exhibits well known cases.


UFOs? WTF?

Its all FOIA requests, which only document that the government looked into the UFO phenomena, but there is nothing in that pile of junk that proves anything (one way or another).

Has any of that 'evidence' ever been accepted in a legal proceeding by a judge *as* legitimate evidence, and led to some resolution of the UFO matter?

Didn't think so.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I wonder.....
by lemur2 on Sat 16th Jan 2010 02:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I wonder....."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The last Groklaw article you quote is hardly FUD

The one your point to is documenting ALL the records and exhibits from a well known court case.
Please explain how doing this is somehow FUD????

If you don't then sir, may I humbly suggest you are nothing more than a TROLL.


The Groklaw article and the evidnce from the Comes vs Microsoft case certainly isn't FUD of any kind.

The bit which I labelled as questionable was this quote from PJ:
There was apparently more than one method. With Google they used the backdoor the government required for use in the context of subpoenas, I gather.

If you build in back doors, people will come in through the back door.


That is the quote that doesn't have much in the way of documented supporting evidence posted on the Groklaw site that I can see, anyway.

Can you point to Groklaw's posted evidence of a backdoor in Windows required by the government for use in the context of subpoenas?

If you can, then I will withdraw my statement of belief that this quote was apparent FUD.

The Comes stuff on Groklaw is all perfectly legit, as far as I can see.

Edited 2010-01-16 02:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I wonder.....
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sat 16th Jan 2010 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE: I wonder....."
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

Believe it or not, it is not that hard to get access to Windows source code.


Without signing an NDA? Cool, what's the download link?

And many, many people outside Microsoft have seen it.


Too bad they can't talk publicly about what they saw...

Reply Score: 1

RE: I wonder.....
by ichi on Fri 15th Jan 2010 15:00 UTC in reply to "I wonder....."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

If he also doesn't understand why Microsoft gave access to its operating system source code to the Chinese government.

http://english.people.com.cn/200303/04/eng20030304_112657.shtml

I guess I don't understand why now I won't necessarily make a purchase of Windows anymore.....


Any government trusting any piece of software that won't allow them access to the source code (even if it's under special conditions and not public like in OSS) is a fool.

It's obvious that MS (and many others) have no choice: show the source or lose some big customers.

Now whether you trust that source to be the actual source of your binaries is another issue.

Reply Score: 2

Now there's a surprise
by Soulbender on Fri 15th Jan 2010 10:05 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

so I don't understand


You dont say.

Reply Score: 3

ha
by Bounty on Fri 15th Jan 2010 17:19 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

I'm sure all the dissidents who have Gmail accounts, that were attacked, will be so thankful once Google leaves China and they can't access their accounts.

Simultaneously, the Chinese government and the government controlled Baidu search engine (62% market share) will be terribly sad to get back another 30% of the market. I'm sure the Chinese government is shaking in it's boots.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ha
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sat 16th Jan 2010 15:43 UTC in reply to "ha"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

Simultaneously, the Chinese government and the government controlled Baidu search engine (62% market share) will be terribly sad to get back another 30% of the market.


At the rate this is going, China will end up with its own Internet, and the rest of the world with the 'other' one. Probably what their government wanted all along. Yeah, and the only losers will be the Chinese people.

I'm sure the Chinese government is shaking in it's boots.


Of course not, the last thing they will tolerate is some foreign company ranting some silliness about 'human rights'.

Didn't Tiananmen Square prove to everyone that the Chinese government doesn't give a damn what other people think of their actions?

Of course they're happy to see those meddlesome foreigners go, since it means they won't have to shoot them.

Reply Score: 1

just shut up
by Ikshaar on Fri 15th Jan 2010 17:57 UTC
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

MS missed a really good time to just say nothing...

Reply Score: 1

RE: just shut up
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sat 16th Jan 2010 16:08 UTC in reply to "just shut up"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

MS missed a really good time to just say nothing...


As usual, Ballmer's sense of timing is impeccable. ;)

Reply Score: 1