Monday, January 29, 2007

You can tell its Vista launch day....

Bill Gates is on the Daily Show and and Slashdot is alive (buzzing?) with Microsoft stories. Two stories are about MS: one about MS retracting a patent, one about how broken Vista is. A researcher *gasp* found a way to circumvent Vista DRM via patchguard (for more information on subverting patchguard see Skywings excellent paper from uninformed). Now please don't get me wrong I am not knocking the researcher. Alex did good work with an interesting result but as someone who knows a thing or two about the media (I begrudgingly extend that designation to blogs) I can't help but notice the difference between what he stated on his blog and what the anonymous reader submitted to slashdot:

"Alex is now quite nervous about what an army of lawyers backed by draconian copyright laws could do to him if he released the details, but he claims to be currently looking into the details of safely releasing his details about this at the moment though."

This is completely different than what I know to be true. I have attended/spoken at several of Microsoft's internal security conferences and want to dispel the myth that MS is sue happy, unlike other companies. Researchers and developers at Microsoft are actually more interested in solving problems than suing people which seems more productive as we all know suing doesn't work. I know for a fact Alex is in contact with Microsoft and has been for a while but little things like facts never seem to stop people from spinning stories to create sensationalism. Alex details how MS can break his method of bypassing the DRM, and how he can get around that, and helpfully details how MS can fix his evasion....

He confirms what we all know: that security is an arms race, which was also left out of slashdot. In the long run the winner of the DRM conflict will be the person who gets tired first.

UPDATE: While writing this another story popped up on slashdot about
MS getting tough on license dodgers. *GASP* the horror of a company
actually wanting people to PAY for their product. The nerve of them,
lets get the pitch forks and torches together and running them out of
cyberspace! Gotta love launch day!

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