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Bug Networking Security Upgrades Windows Technology

Microsoft Says No TCP/IP Patches For XP 759

Posted by timothy
from the to-improve-your-customer-experience dept.
CWmike writes "Microsoft says it won't patch Windows XP for a pair of bugs it quashed Sept. 8 in Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. The news adds Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and SP3 to the no-patch list that previously included only Windows 2000 Server SP4. 'We're talking about code that is 12 to 15 years old in its origin, so backporting that level of code is essentially not feasible,' said security program manager Adrian Stone during Microsoft's monthly post-patch Webcast, referring to Windows 2000 and XP. 'An update for Windows XP will not be made available,' Stone and fellow program manager Jerry Bryant said during the Q&A portion of the Webcast (transcript here). Last Tuesday, Microsoft said that it wouldn't be patching Windows 2000 because creating a fix was 'infeasible.'"
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Microsoft Says No TCP/IP Patches For XP

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  • Yeah, right (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:16AM (#29424595)

    "Microsoft says it won't patch Windows XP for a pair of bugs it quashed Sept. 8 in Vista

    The U.S. Navy's and Marine Corp's NMCI [wikipedia.org] computing infrastructure is all Windows XP. Let's see whether or not Microsoft withholds a patch from them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Shrike82 (1471633)
      From TFA they implied that a decent firewall would reduce the risk. Now whether you choose to believe that is entirely up to you...
      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:31AM (#29424721) Journal

        Whatever. I'll just keep using XP until it crashes-and-burns, and then I'll toss this PC into the trash and get a new $300 PC at walmart with Windows 8 already-installed. That's my upgrade path.

        BTW anyone want to buy a Windows 95 laptop? It's harmless (mostly).

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          BTW anyone want to buy a Windows 95 laptop? It's harmless (mostly).

          Bah, I am holding out for a Windows 3.1 laptop.

      • by MindKata (957167) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:53AM (#29424917) Journal
        "From TFA they implied that a decent firewall would reduce the risk. Now whether you choose to believe that is entirely up to you..."

        So a bit like the old saying, "That's like buying a dog, and then having to spend your time barking to scare off any potential burglars."
        • Re:Yeah, right (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:57AM (#29424973)

          Translation: "Sales of Vista didn't go well due to Vista being crap, and Win7 isn't actually all that much better, so rather than offer a product people actually want we're going to exploit our monopoly and withhold necessary security fixes from others in order to force people to 'upgrade.'"

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AngryNick (891056)
        So I should install a firewall between my computer and the 29,000 other XP machines on my corporate network? Thanks MS!
    • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Cryophallion (1129715) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:25AM (#29424681)

      I just had to post an invoice to the marine corp's web site. I luckily had one computer at work that was not upgraded to ie8. It would only respect ie6 or 7, and had some issues if I just changed the user agent on FF.

      If people keep being forced to upgrade their browsers, no one will be able to use the government systems anymore.

      I'm sure it will be an issue for the little companies billing, but you'll never hear about it.

    • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:28AM (#29424709) Journal

      The Navy will simply subcontract-out to Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and other defense companies to upgrade all their systems from XP to Windows 7 and fix any programs that "break" as a result. It will employ some 10,000 workers at a cost of 1.4 trillion dollars. Then it will fail to come-in on time, so they'll spend an extra 6 months and 0.3 trillion on schedule overrun.

      That's SOP for the government.

      • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Interesting)

        by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @08:06AM (#29425089) Homepage

        Actually, this isn't funny and may well be the type of attention-getting answer we need to this problem. People should start sending off some emails to their representatives that points this problem out. Microsoft says they are supporting WindowsXP until 2014 for security matters and other serious problems. I'd say this qualifies. This "move" on Microsoft's part represents a squeeze play against all of its customers not the least of which is the U.S. Federal Government. And with all the attention on money problems, it can't be ignored or written off.

        I foresee a congressional hearing on the matter should Microsoft continue down this road.

        If the government plans to spend trillions on this surprise upgrade requirement, perhaps moving to another OS might be another consideration to weigh in. We KNOW Microsoft will leverage its position as "the" OS vendor to do nearly anything it wants. We can't force them to behave. Perhaps the best thing to do is push the misbehaving child to the curb and use someone else's product.

        • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Informative)

          by gad_zuki! (70830) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @09:04AM (#29425825)

          How about you read the article before you start yelling at your congressman? RFTA:

          In the revised advisory, Microsoft explained why it won't patch Windows XP, the world's most popular operating system. "By default, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP SP3 and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition SP2 do not have a listening service configured in the client firewall and are therefore not affected by this vulnerability," the company said. "Windows XP SP2 and later operating systems include a stateful host firewall that provides protection for computers against incoming traffic from the Internet or from neighboring network devices on a private network."

      • Re:Yeah, right (Score:4, Informative)

        by gad_zuki! (70830) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @08:58AM (#29425749)

        Actually they wont have to do anything if they are running SP2 or higher. They wont be patching VANILLA XP BUT SP2 AND LATER ARE FINE. RTFA:

        "In the revised advisory, Microsoft explained why it won't patch Windows XP, the world's most popular operating system. "By default, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP SP3 and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition SP2 do not have a listening service configured in the client firewall and are therefore not affected by this vulnerability," the company said. "Windows XP SP2 and later operating systems include a stateful host firewall that provides protection for computers against incoming traffic from the Internet or from neighboring network devices on a private network."

        • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Interesting)

          by KnownIssues (1612961) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @09:29AM (#29426175)

          XP SP2 and later are fine by default. What does that mean? Does that mean it's the only possible configuration? Or is it reasonable that an XP SP2 computer could end up in a state where it does have a listening service configured in the client firewall? Doesn't Vista include "a stateful host firewall that provide protection for computers against incoming traffic from the Internet [...]"? I should think so, so wouldn't that invalidate their reasoning?

          I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft is perfectly correct in not patching XP. The problem is how they communicate it. If they're patching Vista (a client OS) and they're patching Server 2003 (similar codebase to XP), then this makes it seem like they don't want to bother fixing XP, even though it's broken. If Microsoft had said, "the XP codebase is in no way vulnerable", I'd be completely satisfied. But they didn't. They said, "XP is broken, but by default it's protected".

          That's not good enough.

    • Re:Yeah, right (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:30AM (#29424715)
      Ah so when it comes to patching severe holes the codebase is way too old with its 12 - 15 years, but when it comes to revealing the source it is still very relative. Then how does patching very relative code become "not feasible"? "Can't" or "won't"? Which is it MS?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tbannist (230135)

        Apparently they mispronounced "unprofitable". Because that's why they're not doing it, they don't want to spend the money and plus they want everyone to (pay for the) upgrade to Windows 7.

        It's pretty much standard operating procedure for most corporations.

    • Re:Yeah, right (Score:5, Informative)

      by oodaloop (1229816) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:32AM (#29424725)
      The vast majority of DoD's systems are Windows XP with no plans of moving to Vista. US Central Command (CENTCOM) is the only command of which I've heard that has said it is moving to Vista, and FSM only knows why.
    • by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:32AM (#29424731) Homepage

      The U.S. Navy's and Marine Corp's NMCI computing infrastructure is all Windows XP. Let's see whether or not Microsoft withholds a patch from them.

      Since 2008, the US Navy will acquire only systems based on open technologies and standards. That excludes M$ products explicitly in every way but name. The TCP/IP being just one example of failure on M$ part to implement standards. US Navy is ditching M$ [fcw.com].

      They'll probably go with an American company like Red Hat or roll their own spin of Red Hat.

      The question remaining is will Bill's father's political connections keep lil Bill out of Camp X-Ray or not? If you've got Windows on your network, then you have a personnel problem, not just a network security problem.

      • by oodaloop (1229816) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @08:08AM (#29425109)
        Interesting article. I work with the Navy, as well as other services, DoD, etc and have never heard this. I've also seen the DoN purchase proprietary systems this year alone, so at least some people haven't gotten that memo. Perhaps for areas where viable open source alternatives exist, I could see that, like for servers. But many of the workstation applications have no alternative. And with changes in command every few years, his successor is just as likely to continue with MS as not.
      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @09:00AM (#29425775) Homepage Journal

        The question remaining is will Bill's father's political connections keep lil Bill out of Camp X-Ray or not?

        You are being ridiculous. Microsoft under Bill Gates got a free pass from Ashcroft. The Gates Foundation is part of a program to push western IP law throughout the world; if you don't provide patent and other protections for big pharma, you don't get any inoculations. At the same time, the Gates foundation is making for-profit investments in things like oil refineries which are causing lung bleeding in children they're providing inoculation to. Meanwhile, the stated goal of eliminating certain diseases is impossible because the restrictions the foundation is placing mean that not all nations will pick up the inoculations, and a partial cure is no cure.

        Bill Gates is now part of the power structure controlling America and attempting to use it to control the world. Barring some one-step-away-from-a-persian-cat-and-a-monocle actions by BillyG, his future is secure.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The DOS/DDOS possible via the latest weakness in Windows 2000's IP stack @ least (uses RDR20.DLL as the LSP (layered service provider) vs. MSWSOCK.DLL (the LSP used in XP/Server 2003 onwards, by way of comparison, & this is where I think the problem lies largely, as it is the "most radically different part" of the IP stack in Windows 2000 vs. the more current builds of Windows that I could see @ least)?

      WELL - That's taken care of by the SynAttackProtect setting here -> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Curre

    • Halliburton (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Doc Ruby (173196)

      Why not? The Pentagon continued using Halliburton for years, on huge no-bid contracts, even when its divisions were installing showers in Iraq that electrocuted our servicemembers. And that's just the worst failure the public heard about, after most of a decade of abusive cronyism.

      Microsoft is much richer than even Halliburton, and its failures much less publicly scandalous. Why would it face a tougher standard? I'm sure Dick Cheney owns a lot of Microsoft stock, too.

    • by HangingChad (677530) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:57AM (#29424975) Homepage

      The U.S. Navy's and Marine Corp's NMCI computing infrastructure is all Windows XP.

      I questioned the Navy's IT management for years, failing to see the long term wisdom behind the program and thinking it was a pork spending program awarded to political insiders. But, I'm forced to admit NMCI has been tremendously successful at bringing productivity to a near stand still. Patching computers no one can use is hardly even necessary.

      As a bonus the Navy has an inexhaustible supply of boat anchors!

      Absolutely brilliant.

  • Unclear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by coastwalker (307620) <acoastwalker AT hotmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:16AM (#29424599) Homepage

    It is unclear how large a threat this is to the end user. However the fact that XP is being loaded on netbooks suggests that Microsoft has a revenue stream that it should protect by writing a patch if it is serious.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by noundi (1044080)

      It is unclear how large a threat this is to the end user. However the fact that XP is being loaded on netbooks suggests that Microsoft has a revenue stream that it should protect by writing a patch if it is serious.

      Excellent point. I wonder if this could put MS into legal trouble. Does anybody know what software distribution laws say about distributing software with known security issues without the intention of filling them? Are they at least bound to notify the user? I mean people have burnt themselves on hot coffee and won lawsuits because they weren't notified. Surely this should be a more valid suit, as you don't even need to be a complete moron to get affected.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It is unclear how large a threat this is to the end user. However the fact that XP is being loaded on netbooks suggests that Microsoft has a revenue stream that it should protect by writing a patch if it is serious.

      The Coca-Cola Corporation also had a steady worldwide revenue stream with its nearly 80 years old original Coke formula, and everything went smoothly when it upgraded it to the improved and more delicious New Coke- Oh wait.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BlueStrat (756137)

        It is unclear how large a threat this is to the end user. However the fact that XP is being loaded on netbooks suggests that Microsoft has a revenue stream that it should protect by writing a patch if it is serious.

        The Coca-Cola Corporation also had a steady worldwide revenue stream with its nearly 80 years old original Coke formula, and everything went smoothly when it upgraded it to the improved and more delicious New Coke- Oh wait.

        Well, this is just MS's own business practices backfiring. MS with XP, Vis

  • In other words (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mc moss (1163007) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:16AM (#29424601)

    "not feasible"

    yeah right, more like MS wants people to move onto Windows 7

  • Infeasible? (Score:5, Funny)

    by YuppieScum (1096) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:17AM (#29424609) Journal

    That's unpossible!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      There's nothing wrong with inventing words.

      "Colonize" didn't exist until the printer Benjamin Franklin started using it (and the British printers criticized him for turning a noun into a verb). These are called inkhorn words, because it's as if they magically sprung from the ink well. Some succeed while others like Bush's "misunderestimate" or Jefferson's "undamage" did not.

  • Upgrade or Else (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cryophallion (1129715) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:18AM (#29424615)

    So, basically, upgrade or you'll be hacked?

    Two questions:
    1. Does 7's XP mode potentially have this issue, or is there a compatibility layer so xp doesn't talk directly to the network?
    2. They seemed to be able to make massive security updates for code that was that old, and still patch a number of other issues. What about this REALLY makes it so hard to code?

    In the end, while I understand not wanting to waste resources on way older products, I think it is a marketing move.

  • by Clover_Kicker (20761) <clover_kicker@yahoo.com> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:18AM (#29424619)

    How very serendipitous for Microsoft, people now have a reason to upgrade from XP.

    I ran W2K on my desktop until a couple of years ago, i.e. until the patches stopped coming W2K did everything I needed.

    Guess I'll have to consider Win7 now...

  • by jgardia (985157) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:19AM (#29424631)
    well, that's one of the positive aspects of the open source code. If the main developer doesn't want to fix something, then someone else can do it.
  • Question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bjackson1 (953136) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:20AM (#29424637)
    Isn't the codebase for XP and Windows 2003 essentially the same? Why can't the 2003 patch be modified? I don't remember reading that the TCP/IP stack was that different in 2003.
    • Re:Question (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:26AM (#29424685)

      You are forgetting that code ages overtime. I think it has something to do with the proteins and atoms. That is why they have to make new versions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Amnenth (698898)
      XP and 2003 are distinct at the 32-bit level.

      However. XP x64 is actually just Server 2003 x64 rebadged.
  • 15 years old (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vxvxvxvx (745287) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:22AM (#29424653)
    While the code may very well be 15 years old, that does not really matter to the user. What matters is how long ago Microsoft sold the product. If they sell software today that uses some code written 15 years ago you should be able to expect security updates for some period of time. Now, had they decided not to patch software they haven't sold in 15 years that would be totally OK.
    • Re:15 years old (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:27AM (#29424701)

      This is the key point. It doesn't matter when the code was written - if it was sold "today", it's current code. Current code (sold on the scale of an OS) should be fixed, or declared "broken" and not sold.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tepples (727027)

        This is the key point. It doesn't matter when the code was written - if it was sold "today", it's current code. Current code (sold on the scale of an OS) should be fixed, or declared "broken" and not sold.

        The article mentioned an effective workaround: turn on Windows Firewall.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      Now, had they decided not to patch software they haven't sold in 15 years that would be totally OK.

      If a defect in a 1994 Taurus was found, Ford would recall the vehicles at great expense to them. Especially if it was a design defect in an engine that was basically used in an engine still produced for a 2003 Taurus.

      There is NO excuse for any software company to NOT patch security holes in any product, no matter how old.

  • by kevingolding2001 (590321) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:23AM (#29424665)
    From the FA. (Emphasis mine)

    The same two bugs were ranked "moderate" for Vista and Server 2008, while a third -- which doesn't affect the older operating systems -- was rated "critical."

    Yes, it's easy to take the "We won't be backporting this fix" stance when the old OS isn't vulnerable in the first place.

  • by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:24AM (#29424671)

    For some unfathomable reason, MS rates remote code execution as a LOW impact problem for XP.

    And somehow, the TCP stack, perhaps the most modular and with the most well-defined interfaces, can't be replaced wholesale.

    This makes no sense, unless they're trying to get people to spend $$$ on moving to "Windows 7",
    or as the congnoscenti call it, "Vista SP2".

    ooooohhh.....

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nielsm (1616577)

      There's no remote code execution possible with this on XP, only DoS. You can make the system essentially freeze while the packeting is going on but that's it. Only Vista and Server 2008 have remote code execution exploits from this bug.

      Also you can only exploit this if the machine has software accepting TCP connections. If you have an (application) firewall blocking all incoming connections with no exceptions (such as XP SP2+ has by default) there's no real problem.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Daltorak (122403)

      For some unfathomable reason, MS rates remote code execution as a LOW impact problem for XP.

      But that's not what they're doing! There is no remote code execution vulnerability on Windows 2000, XP, or Server 2003. Only Vista and Server 2008 are susceptible to remote code execution. This is a Denial of Service vulnerability on NT 5.x systems, and you have to have the firewall disabled (and, indeed, no stateful hardware firewall at all) in order to be vulnerable.

      The details are here:

      http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms09-048.mspx [microsoft.com]

      It's fine to criticise Microsoft for not releasing a

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:25AM (#29424679)
    Since XP is still being shipped and supported [computerworld.com] on netbooks this seems a little strange. What's the message - spend extra on memory and hard drive so that you can run XP instead of Linux but we won't give you security patches?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gad_zuki! (70830)

      If you read the article you'll see systems with SP2 or SP3 are unaffected:

      "By default, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP SP3 and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition SP2 do not have a listening service configured in the client firewall and are therefore not affected by this vulnerability,

  • In other news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Temkin (112574) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:26AM (#29424693)

    In other news... 10 year old Linux 2.4 kernel patched yesterday...

  • by Stenchwarrior (1335051) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:27AM (#29424697)

    A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 miles per hour. The rear differential locks up. The car crushes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now: do we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field (A), multiply it by the probable rate of failure (B), then multiply the result by the average out-of-court settlement (C). A times B times C equals X...

    If X is less that the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 miles per hour. The rear differential locks up. The car crushes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now: do we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field (A), multiply it by the probable rate of failure (B), then multiply the result by the average out-of-court settlement (C). A times B times C equals X...

      If X is less that the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

      The first rule of screwing the public is we don't talk about screwing the public.

      The second rule of screwing the public is WE DON'T TALK ABOUT SCREWING THE PUBLIC!

  • by multipartmixed (163409) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:32AM (#29424727) Homepage

    ...we lost the source code, we kept it in Microsoft Source Safe and it ate it.

  • the true cost (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mach1980 (1114097) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:33AM (#29424733)
    The true cost of releasing a patch is not in compiling and distributing the fix. The money is spent on verification. By not releasing the patch to XP and w2k my estimates are that Microsoft is saving man-years in verification.
  • by Archeopteryx (4648) * <benburch AT pobox DOT com> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:35AM (#29424745) Homepage

    There is really no reason for XP on a netbook any more. You aren't using it a high end gaming platform. You aren't running Adobe Creative stuff on it.

    You are using it to run FireFox, edit documents, read, IM and send email.

    Linux has all that covered and is even document-compatible with Windows.

    I have a Eee 900A with a 32GB SSD in it running Xubuntu and I connect to a corporate Radius network, bluetooth tether to my phone, and even use the web version of outlook on it to get at calendars.

    Flash even works.

    The only thing I can't do that would be nice is play Netflix movies as the Moonlight package does not have DRM in it (and likely never will.)

  • 2014 ???? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by m0s3m8n (1335861) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:47AM (#29424847)
    I guess these guys did not read: http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy [microsoft.com] XP extended support goes thru 2014 and supposedly covers security fixes. I would think this counts as a security fix.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @07:59AM (#29425003) Journal
    Would we really accept the following situation?

    Today GM announced that the GMC trucks have some fundamental flaw and they are prone to explode randomly. GM said it wont fix the issue because the design is very old, and fixing it is unfeasible. When asked if they will when they stopped shipping trucks with the fatal flaw, GM spokesman said, "we have not stopped building or shipping them yet. We need to compete with the low cost competitors in the net-truck market and so we continue to make and ship the trucks, but we wont fix the safety issue. The drivers may wrap themselves in bags filled with thermocol peanuts to get some measure of protection.

    If not, why do we let Microsoft get away with it?

    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @08:29AM (#29425387)

      Your analogy is flawed in three ways. First, MS doesn't make cars. Cars are useful. MS makes on OS which is a system component and pretty much useless by itself. Second MS is a monopoly, whereas GM is not. Third, the flaw in XP is unlikely to result in fatalities or even serious injury. Allow me to fix your analogy:

      Today GM announced that the GMC trucks have some fundamental flaw in the lock mechanisms and they are prone to open and start the truck randomly. GM said it can't fix the issue because the component is supplied by EvilCorp and current law makes it illegal for them to change anything inside the locking mechanism device. Further GM can't buy locking mechanisms from anyone else because EvilCorp has a monopoly on selling them and has used criminal acts to drive all real competitors out of business. EvilCorp has already lost court cases to that effect, but after making campaign contributions to your elected officials decided not to punish them. EvilCorp says the design is very old, and fixing it is unfeasible. When asked if they will stop shipping trucks with the flaw, GM spokesman said, "we have not stopped building or shipping them yet. We don't have any real options here. We did try partnering with a company that repackages locking systems made for free by a nonprofit organization, but they aren't compatible with existing trailer hitches, AC systems, or tires and switching all of those is hard to do since all the component suppliers out there build them to work with EvilCorp products. Also EvilCorp gives away free gas tanks with every lock mechanism, but because they are really weird, gas has had to be reformulated so it has problems working in gas tanks from any normal company and nobody really sells standards compliant gas anymore. Car buyers are encouraged to remove the batteries from their trucks whenever they stop and park them in locked garages if they contain anything valuable."

  • Microsoft Corporation has announced a limited one-off extension of availability of its Windows XP operating system to April 2101 after criticism from large customers and analysts. This is the fifty-sixth extension of XP's availability since 2008.

    Through successive releases of Microsoft's flagship Windows operating system, demand for XP has remained an important factor for businesses relying on stable XP-specific software and installations, who have pushed back strongly against the software company's attempts to move them to later versions. Windows administration skills have become rare in recent years and consultants have demanded high fees. Reviving Windows administrators from cryogenic freezing has proven insufficient to fill the market gap, as almost all begged to work on COBOL instead.

    "Windows XP is currently in the extremely very prolonged super-extended support phase and Microsoft encourages customers to migrate to Windows for Neurons 2097 as soon as feasible," said William Gates V, CEO and great-grandson of the company founder. "Spare change?"

    Microsoft Corporation, along with Monsanto Corporation and the RIAA, exists as a protected species in the Seattle Memorial Glass Crater Bad Ideas And Warnings To The Future National Park in north-west Washington on the radioactive remains of what was once the planet Earth, under the protection of our Linux-based superintelligent robot artificial intelligence overlords. Company revenues for 2098 were over $15.

    illustration: A background wallpaper for your insecurable XP desktop [today.com]. (Anyone got a pointer to the 1024x768 version?)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @08:03AM (#29425055)

    Best Buy's recent "training" slide #9, where they say that "Linux is safer than Windows" is a myth, the "Real Facts" states (referring to Linux) 'There's no guarantee that when security vulnerabilities are discovered, an update will be created. Users are on their own.'
    Here's proof that that statement is really talking about Windows...

  • 31 days. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Orbijx (1208864) * <.ten.seohcelexip. .ta. .gro.todhsals.> on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @08:04AM (#29425079) Homepage Journal

    I say give 'em a month, tops, and then there will be a patch (or news of a coming patch) for Windows XP.

    Now would be a terrible time for Microsoft to alienate all those big corps that have XP and force them into another OS, if they want to keep their customers.
    It'd be great for everyone else, as customers may start looking into things they would never have considered otherwise, such as various open source operating systems, and the necessary apps it would take to keep them going in their workflow, post-transition.

    The way it looks is, some people (usually companies) will view this as a threat from Microsoft that reads: "Upgrade if you want protection."
    Some of them in this group will obediently upgrade to Fista or 7.
    Some of them will reluctantly upgrade to Vista or 7.
    Some of them will stay with XP and find other ways to secure themselves.
    Some of them will [cross their fingers and hope|pray] that Microsoft changes their mind and offers a patch.
    Some of them will be offended and migrate to another OS outside of Big Red Robotland.
    And of course, some of them will feel that litigation solves everything, and want to take MS to court for "refusing to patch an OS that is in such widespread use" (or) "intentionally posing a security risk".

    Refusing a patch like this, in my humble opinion, isn't something you want to do until a few months after your new OS lands, at the bare minimum. That way, you've already got people migrating.

    XP's patching lifecycle isn't up yet, from what I can see here, though: XP SP2 should be good until July of 2010 [microsoft.com], and SP3 should be good a bit longer than that, so I'm surprised no-one has really called 'em out on that.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @08:06AM (#29425083)
    1. Buy Netbook with Microsoft WIndows XP installed.
    2. Run all updates.
    3. Browse web, get hacked by this exploit. Lose money through "identity theft" / bank fraud.
    4. Turn up in court with the receipt for the netbook & windows license stating when purchased, and the date and time Microsoft refused to patch the hole which caused your loss.
    5. State that Microsoft is profiting from a product which is unsuitable for purpose, and it knows is unsuitable.
    6. ...
    7. Read Microsoft fine print and realise that you have to now give Microsoft your first born child for ever doubting that their asses are covered.

    Yeah, consumer loses out on this one.
  • by hesaigo999ca (786966) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @08:11AM (#29425149) Homepage Journal

    Please..all underlying architecture has not changed from xp to vista, even though they want you to believe this...and for them to correct the wrapper on xp, would be trivial, however, they are testing the waters about phasing out xp, and want to see what the backlash will be like, seeing as no one wants vista garbage, and maybe even no windows7!

    I prefer, being given the opportunity of just paying a yearly fee to keep getting updates on a system that runs properly compared to their new bloated versions of vista etc... too bad no one can pick it up like a linux distro and start their own version of windows...

  • In other words... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AlgorithMan (937244) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @08:14AM (#29425193) Homepage

    backporting that level of code is essentially not feasible

    in other words:

    buy windows 7, damn it!

    it's the same feigned argument as when they refused to port DX10 to XP to boost Vista sales - uh - I mean it was because it's technically impossible... it's just that hackers ported it to XP later....

  • by sheph (955019) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @08:16AM (#29425207)
    Don't run an OS that you can't patch yourself. Seriously, if we put our trust in these guys after they've proven time and again that they really don't represent our best interests we are the only ones to blame. It's about time to let MS go gently into the night alone and without a sleeping bag into a rabid pack of wolves.
  • by harvey the nerd (582806) on Tuesday September 15, 2009 @09:16AM (#29425969)
    The fix is to NEVER buy Microsoft products, again. Microsoft is a defective corporation that has made a mint off of selling knowingly defective products and reselling the HOPE that these defects will be fixed in the next update but reneging again, and again, and again, and again. MSFT's example of no/low quality has become the new American metric of quality, its business plan, corroding our society's business and work ethic, a complete mockery of the consumer laws on mechantability, deservedly debasing our reputation for quality goods.

    Since the government has been ineffective in enforcing these laws, falling for MS legal theories, only insistent market rejection will [partially] protect a consumer from the borg. No doubt we will be seeing more FUD IP attacks, like SCO, traceable to MSFT. Good luck to all. Fsck MSFT.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27

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