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Microsoft and Paid-Hacking

By Thamer ·
Background: In case you missed it, in early 2002 Microsoft sued to shut down and are currently fighting in court over trademark issues, with Lindows trying to invalidate the trademark on "Windows" and Microsoft charging trademark infringement by the similar-sounding Lindows name. Microsoft's allegation )As I understand it) was that they own the trademark for the word "windows," maintaining that no other company should be allowed to use the word “windows&rdquo and I assume the "indows" sound it carries)

While the judicial system did block Microsoft's request to shut down, a trial is looming for April 2003. At that time, the Judge (or jury) will decide whether Microsoft has a valid trademark for the word "windows" and whether the name is confusing.

But, believe it or not! Michael Robertson, CEO of and the self-proclaimed opponent of Microsoft in this case, last month revealed that he is responsible for a $200,000 reward for hacking into Microsoft's new Xbox video game console. The challenge was announced anonymously in July, offering the money to anyone who could make the Xbox function with the Lindows operating system. As no one accomplished the task so far, Robertson extended the deadline. Wired News, 3 January 2003,2101,57052,00.html

I'm in support of the argument that an individual should have a choise to have and run the software of his choice in his hard drive inhis own home while having his windows open for air to pass thru and that is not the issue over here.

My point is, could it be that paid-hacking is what MS should be confronting? I mean look at the top 10 viruses, the late one the Slammer, aren't they made to exploit the vulnerablities in MS Products so the end-user may have the choise not to trust them? Wha's Microsoft's crime?

Appreciating your comments and thoughts.

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by mrafrohead In reply to Microsoft and Paid-Hackin ...

Paid hacking would be what MS should be confronting in my opinion.

But I'm not a lawyer:)

Personally, I think that MS is out of line suing Lindows for the fact that it "sounds" like Windoze. I think that Billy Bob is just a little worried that he's got some actual serious competition.

As for Mr. Robertson being a head of a company and paying people to hack a product other than their own for his own personal gain, I think that that's pretty low. I am disapointed to hear this and will have to check into it further as this is the first occurance that I've read.

I think that Lindows is a great idea and as long as the company stays ethically on the right side of the tracks I hope that it succeeds. But leave the hacking to the will of the hackers, let them do it when they decide they want to do it. Don't try to provoke them into hacking something for another companies personal gain. That's pretty sickening and is as low as some of Microsofts doings. Hacking for vulnerabilities to improve security is one thing, but not for personal gain of another corporation.

I'm really surprised to have read what I read today, but at the same time, I'm glad to hear it. I'll be checking further into it and if I find more data to coroborate this, I will definately be removing myself from Lindows support mailing lists of the like. There is no excuse for bad business like this!


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A rose by any other name

by Oldefar In reply to

Or in this case, a pile of manure.

I am looking forward to a posting as to whether the statement is true. Posting a prize is no different than hiring a hacker to go after a competitor.

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by mrafrohead In reply to A rose by any other name

Yeah, that's as tactless as some of the reports I've read about some M$ business tactics.

If this is true, I still haven't been able to check, it's a HUGE smudge in the Linux world. It's really a truly disapointing thing to have read.

Lame part is, I'm afraid that there is credibility behind it, but I don't want to believe there is.


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Never mix Linux with Windows.

by admin In reply to

What did they expect really?

Take the common mans commercial industrial beer and mix it with your favorite micro and come up with a beer everybody likes? HAHA on the contrary, everybody hates the result. It's no different here.

Everyone with a bent to make money on Linux should be put on an island ran by Ron Popiel for the remainder of their lives so they could all sell slimy junk that no one needs to each other.

That is why I stopped endorsing Caldera as well. Lindows should be run out of town. I would rather use freeBSD or Linux, but I even prefer MS to Lindows. At least MS isn't trying to pull the wool over your eyes, they are outright in their quest for mammon.

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It's Unix if it has the x sound in it?!

by Thamer In reply to A rose by any other name

Many anti-piracy groups have stated on occasion that modding systems is illegal, but that didn't stop a Linux Xbox contest from being held.

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by mrafrohead In reply to It's Unix if it has the x ...

I think that modding a system is fine. If you bought a system, it's yours. Do what you want with it as you paid for it. Just don't expect any further support from the manufacturer of the original unit.

As for a BUSINESS pushing someone to hacksomething for their own personal gain. That's cheap. Hacking something for your OWN personal gain is fine by me. To clarify. This is just an example, not true as this scenario doesn't really exist. Just an example. I have a PS2. I want it to play Dolby Digital 5.1 and mine only plays Dolby Pro Logic (Stereo). So I hack/mod the PS2 to play 5.1. That I think is fine. But just so anyone here without a PS2 knows, all PS2's are Dolby Digital. So this is a false example, but what popped into my head.

Now if this guy is trying to have a person hack someone's OS so that the he can release a product that will benefit from it. I hope the business buckles. That is very bad business, and there are no ethics there.


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Guru of what??

by GuruOfDos In reply to It's Unix if it has the x ...

And I suppose they have trademarked DOS too!

MS-DOS may be a trademark, but DOS itself isn't. Or could it be that Microsoft won't take on IBM (PC-DOS) or Digital/DEC/Caldera (DR-DOS) because they know they'd lose.

Perhaps they'll be after me next...let's face it, with a name like GuruOfDOS, I must be a target for Uncle Bill.

If MS put half of what they pay their lawyers into market research and R&D, we may one day see a good operating system!!! I won't hold my breath...everything sinceMS-DOS 6.22 has been a 'nearly but not quite'!

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by hey_tsm In reply to Guru of what??

can you teach me how to hack email me info on

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The Discipline of Ethical Hacking

by Thamer In reply to

Thank you for your input and thoughts.

I'm curious to know if Lindows will end-up keeping the name ... or if they will have to shut their project down.

As for paid-hacking, I'm in favor that it should always be toward benefiting network security, site administration, and the integrity of the network infrastructure ... as long it follows the discipline of Ethical Hacking from a vendor-neutral perspective.

I know that the market is creating opportunities for paid-hacking on open source projects ... but as you said it ... it shouldn't be provoked ... otherwise.

I would appreciate if you keep me updated with your reserach.

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Ethical Hacking

by Oldefar In reply to The Discipline of Ethical ...

I believe the key is that the target has invited the hacking on their own site and systems.

On systems they are developing for purposes of improving their product.

On systems they use for purposes of improving their security.

By vendor neutral third parties for purposes of identifying security problems to the industry at large.

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