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'[OT]:M/S Win code give-a-way..'
2003\02\28@130444 by Larry Reynolds

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Listers,

       Does anyone here have a clue as to WHY Microsoft is giving Windows
source code away???  I have no love for M/S, but this is just beyond
me....

       My gut feeling is that this will come back to haunt them.

Larry

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2003\02\28@132651 by Dwayne Reid

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At 01:08 AM 2/28/03 -0500, Larry Reynolds wrote:
>Listers,
>
>         Does anyone here have a clue as to WHY Microsoft is giving Windows
>source code away???  I have no love for M/S, but this is just beyond
>me....
>
>         My gut feeling is that this will come back to haunt them.

More likely - it will come back to haunt *us*.  Open source where everybody
has a chance to see the code is one thing, releasing the code to a limited
number of foreign governments is quite another.

dwayne

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2003\02\28@141450 by michael brown

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Larry Reynolds wrote:
> Listers,
>
>         Does anyone here have a clue as to WHY Microsoft is giving
> Windows source code away???  I have no love for M/S, but this is just
> beyond me....
>
>         My gut feeling is that this will come back to haunt them.

Where did you see this?  AFAIK, the only code that they are sharing is
with certain govt. agencys and maybe some huge corporations, and even
that is under strict non-disclosure rules.  AIUI, it's there feeble
attempt to compete with Linux, of course they missed the entire concept
of open source.

michael brown

"In the land of the blind, he who has one eye is king"

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2003\02\28@142410 by Larry Reynolds

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Michael,

       Check:

http://www.theinquier.net

Larry




michael brown wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2003\02\28@145611 by Amaury Jacquot

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Larry Reynolds wrote:
> Listers,
>
>         Does anyone here have a clue as to WHY Microsoft is giving Windows
> source code away???  I have no love for M/S, but this is just beyond
> me....
>
>         My gut feeling is that this will come back to haunt them.

I don't want to have anything to do with it ;-)

Amaury

> Larry
>
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2003\02\28@145614 by Amaury Jacquot

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Larry Reynolds wrote:
> Michael,
>
>         Check:
>
> http://www.theinquier.net
>
> Larry
>
>

it's

 http://www.theinquirer.net

Amaury

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2003\02\28@150022 by michael brown

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Larry Reynolds wrote:
> Michael,
>
>         Check:
>
> http://www.theinquier.net
>
> Larry

OK, I feel vindicated now.  ;-)  It's what I thought, they aren't giving
any source away "for free".  From what I'd previously heard about this,
the receiver isn't even allowed to compile the code.  Hmmm....I wonder
why?  Some "open source" concept, huh?

Now this link is telling:

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=8054

I hope everyone running annonymous FTP servers put files named
msword.exe, excel.exe, and the like all over the place.  ;-D

The BSA made an accusation, as they clearly stated "under penalty of
perjury" that simply wasn't true.  I wonder if anyone will punish them
for a change.  Or at least, make them knuckle down and pay an
exhorbitant fine without due process of law.

michael brown

{Quote hidden}

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2003\02\28@150621 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 01:08 AM 2/28/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>Listers,
>
>         Does anyone here have a clue as to WHY Microsoft is giving Windows
>source code away???  I have no love for M/S, but this is just beyond
>me....

Because foreign governments are (justifiably, IMHO) suspicious of MS windows-
suppose it had some back door that would allow the US gov't to access
information secretly, get around encryption, or to shut down all the
computers at once from a remote location in the event of hostilities.

This puts them on an even basis with Linux in the potentially gigantic
markets. I think it's a hard, but necessary decision.

They are not giving away the source code, just letting some foreign
government experts scrutinize it. Of course a copy of the source code could
walk, but governments are pretty good at keeping secrets, and anyways
Windows is pirated as-is all over the place in the FSU and China.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
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2003\02\28@151332 by William Chops Westfield

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There was/is a movement (or "near movement") to FAVOR open source software
in government contracts.  This would presumably be part of microsoft's
attempt to head that off.  See:

       http://news.com.com/2100-1001-975578.html?tag=fd_top

We had quite a heated discussion (in some circles) here about it...

BillW

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2003\02\28@152013 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 01:50 PM 2/28/2003 -0600, you wrote:


>OK, I feel vindicated now.  ;-)  It's what I thought, they aren't giving
>any source away "for free".  From what I'd previously heard about this,
>the receiver isn't even allowed to compile the code.  Hmmm....I wonder
>why?  Some "open source" concept, huh?

How could they verify that it is a true copy of the source code if they
can't compile and compare the object code?

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
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2003\02\28@153457 by Jai Dhar

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Quoting Spehro Pefhany <.....speffKILLspamspam.....INTERLOG.COM>:

{Quote hidden}

Windows is pirated as-is, but not the source. If the source gets out, and
major security threats are revealed, the US will have A BIG problem on their
hands since a lot of their platforms run MS products. While foreign
governments are justifiably suspicious of MS products, shouldn't we be
suspicious of what they will do with the code in their hands? Especially
governments who aren't too fond of the US... I don't know, seems like a
potential problem either way here.

Just for the record, I'm in no way a MS fan... just taking another perspective.

{Quote hidden}

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2003\02\28@154127 by Peter L. Peres

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On Fri, 28 Feb 2003, Larry Reynolds wrote:

*>Listers,
*>
*>        Does anyone here have a clue as to WHY Microsoft is giving Windows
*>source code away???  I have no love for M/S, but this is just beyond
*>me....

The main reason is the fear of the clients that there may be backdoors
built in by certain organizations. The secondary fear (and the largest
imho) is that the respective clients (governments) will be exposed to
electronic annihilation by an enemy or terrorists if they do not discover
and plan for problems with that software.

Then there is law enforcement. As in taxes and kiddie pr0n (did they
register pr0n in hempest or not ?).

I hope that nobody misses the significance of the frequency of exploit
reports on Windows and major apps (like ie and iis and outlook) in lists
like SecurityFocus. Once a week, at least one, for as long as I have been
subscribed.

The arithmetics are simple. If random individuals find 1 exploitable bug
per week, basically forever, how many exploitable bugs will a potentially
unfriendly foreign government's experts find within that time and what
will they do to you with what they find.

*> My gut feeling is that this will come back to haunt them.

It already does. They are sort of doing it under duress from the open
source community (whose source is accessible, also to foes, and it does
the foes little good so far - the things are robust most of the time). The
L word was mentioned in at least two articles referring to the release of
source code.

Peter

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2003\02\28@155823 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 03:33 PM 2/28/2003 -0500, you wrote:


>Windows is pirated as-is, but not the source. If the source gets out, and
>major security threats are revealed, the US will have A BIG problem on their
>hands since a lot of their platforms run MS products.

They are revealed regularly- quite serious threats. There might be an advantage
to holding back and hoping that the weakness is not discovered and hoping
that it does not get fixed in subsequent versions (probably a fairly safe
bet). But you don't need source code to find weaknesses in windows.

>  While foreign
>governments are justifiably suspicious of MS products, shouldn't we be
>suspicious of what they will do with the code in their hands? Especially
>governments who aren't too fond of the US... I don't know, seems like a
>potential problem either way here.

I don't see a problem. Not with Russia and China, they are dependable.

Best regards,

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2003\02\28@161751 by Peter L. Peres

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On Fri, 28 Feb 2003, Spehro Pefhany wrote:

*>How could they verify that it is a true copy of the source code if they
*>can't compile and compare the object code?

They were solemnally promised it's the real thing. By Bill Gates I think.

Peter

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2003\02\28@161753 by Peter L. Peres

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On Fri, 28 Feb 2003, Spehro Pefhany wrote:

*>I don't see a problem. Not with Russia and China, they are dependable.

In what way exactly ?

Peter

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2003\02\28@162123 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 11:17 PM 2/28/2003 +0200, you wrote:
>On Fri, 28 Feb 2003, Spehro Pefhany wrote:
>
>*>I don't see a problem. Not with Russia and China, they are dependable.
>
>In what way exactly ?

They honor their agreements.

Best regards,

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2003\02\28@162125 by Jai Dhar

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Quoting "Peter L. Peres" <KILLspamplpKILLspamspamACTCOM.CO.IL>:

> On Fri, 28 Feb 2003, Spehro Pefhany wrote:
>
> *>I don't see a problem. Not with Russia and China, they are dependable.
>
> In what way exactly ?
>

My thoughts too.. Russia I can see since there has been a long-term
relationship, but China? Again, I have nothing against China, and I'm not
saying they are capricious by any means... but should the US be so fast to
trust them with the core to their main platform?

> Peter
>
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2003\02\28@162535 by Neil Bradley

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> > *>I don't see a problem. Not with Russia and China, they are dependable.
> > In what way exactly ?
> My thoughts too.. Russia I can see since there has been a long-term
> relationship, but China? Again, I have nothing against China, and I'm not
> saying they are capricious by any means... but should the US be so fast to
> trust them with the core to their main platform?

I spent two weeks in Beijing in January. I do find it odd that a country
that allows rampant piracy. You can get shrink wrapped copies of all major
applications like Photoshop, Premiere, any version of Windows, etc... at
any computer store for roughly $5-$10/US. Giving away source code seems
like it's a really detrimental thing to do, especially in a country that
allows rampant piracy.

-->Neil

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2003\02\28@162959 by michael brown

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Spehro Pefhany wrote:
> At 01:50 PM 2/28/2003 -0600, you wrote:
>
>
>> OK, I feel vindicated now.  ;-)  It's what I thought, they aren't
>> giving any source away "for free".  From what I'd previously heard
>> about this, the receiver isn't even allowed to compile the code.
>> Hmmm....I wonder why?  Some "open source" concept, huh?
>
> How could they verify that it is a true copy of the source code if
> they can't compile and compare the object code?

IMO, that's the entire point.  But then that's the cynical side of me
talking.  ;-)

> Best regards,
>
> Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the
> reward" RemoveMEspeffTakeThisOuTspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers:
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> Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:
> http://www.speff.com

michael brown

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2003\02\28@163627 by Peter L. Peres

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On Fri, 28 Feb 2003, Spehro Pefhany wrote:

*>At 11:17 PM 2/28/2003 +0200, you wrote:
*>>On Fri, 28 Feb 2003, Spehro Pefhany wrote:
*>>
*>>*>I don't see a problem. Not with Russia and China, they are dependable.
*>>
*>>In what way exactly ?
*>
*>They honor their agreements.

Seen the investment risk rating for those countries lately, and the way
they fared in the last year (try the Economist) ? They honor their
agreements when they *can*. Like everyone else. Almost.

Peter

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2003\02\28@164759 by michael brown

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Peter L. Peres wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Here is my take on these things, whether you want to hear it or not.
;-D  I view the Nimda, Code-Red and Slammer incidents as proof of
concept attacks.  Nothing really malicious, just a study in timing and
human behavior.

Nimda demonstrated how few admins actually take the proper preliminary
protections, and Code-Red (or was CR first) proved that even after an
incident, most admins will not take the proper measures.  The correct
fix for the first attack was to wipe the drive and start over, CR proved
that they wouldn't follow good advice because of laziness.

Slammer showed that refining your attack algorithm could shrink the time
required to infect a large part of the population by orders of
magnitude.  (Trivia Fact:  Slammer took a whole 10 minutes to do it's
job world wide, Code-Red took about 12 hours IIRC)

If something like Slammer were released and it packed a nasty, instant
acting CIH type payload to drop onto the non-server machines discovered
during probing, and then killed the infected server after 15 minutes of
infection, it could cause great damage to a vast number of machines,
perhaps permanent damage (like BIOS wiping).  So in less than 30
minutes, a country (such as the US) could be brought to it's knees
thanks to MS's lackadaisical mentality when it comes to taking security
seriously.

What do you guys think?  Am I paranoid?

michael brown (I trust Linux, because I can see the code and people fix
security problems within 24-48 hours of discovery)

"In the land of the blind, he who has one eye is king"

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2003\02\28@164809 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 01:24 PM 2/28/2003 -0800, you wrote:

>I spent two weeks in Beijing in January. I do find it odd that a country
>that allows rampant piracy. You can get shrink wrapped copies of all major
>applications like Photoshop, Premiere, any version of Windows, etc... at
>any computer store for roughly $5-$10/US.

More like Y20 (USD2.40)/disk, I'm afraid. Maybe you got the big-nose
price. I suspect this is small potatoes compared to download and P2P
piracy these days.

>Giving away source code seems
>like it's a really detrimental thing to do, especially in a country that
>allows rampant piracy.

They didn't "give it away", they let foreign government experts study it.
Piracy is rampant in Russia as well. You can consider this a kind of
marketing ploy by Microsoft. Large companies in China can be legally held to
buy licences, smaller ones, students and individuals will use pirate copies
as they can't afford the licensed version anyhow. Eventually, uSoft will
have 90% of the market and the people will be rich enough to afford
a properly licensed copy of Windows 2015.

I remember when IBM put their foot down in Taiwan they built a huge
gleaming building in downtown Taipei, had the gov't on their side and
made examples of a few companies. The piracy went underground really fast.
The open piracy in Hong Kong disappeared a couple of years ago.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
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2003\02\28@165941 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 03:36 PM 2/28/2003 -0600, you wrote:

>If something like Slammer were released and it packed a nasty, instant
>acting CIH type payload to drop onto the non-server machines discovered
>during probing, and then killed the infected server after 15 minutes of
>infection, it could cause great damage to a vast number of machines,
>perhaps permanent damage (like BIOS wiping).  So in less than 30
>minutes, a country (such as the US) could be brought to it's knees
>thanks to MS's lackadaisical mentality when it comes to taking security
>seriously.

I retract my skepticism about security issues. There are indeed some
attacks (such as buffer overflow) that are much easier with source code.

>What do you guys think?  Am I paranoid?

It's the proper state of mind when considering security.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
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'[OT]:M/S Win code give-a-way..'
2003\03\02@101143 by John Ferrell
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That is what we thought about Toshiba....

John Ferrell
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Phone: (336)685-9606
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"My Competition is Not My Enemy"



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