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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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I agree. Excellent Point Here.

by admin In reply to Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking does not trespass.


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by Thamer In reply to I agree. Excellent Point ...
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What's the problem?

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

I don't follow. First viruses and worms are designed to attack victims. None of the participating servers, or the Internet, asked for or benefitted from slammer.

The challenge to mod Xbox, in contrast, is an attempt to run an alternative OS on Xbox hardware. Apparently Robertson has an interest in selling Lindows for the Xbox.

Microsoft sells an Xbox package, including hardware and software. What is the problem with consumers replacing Microsoft software with something else?

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This is the problem.

by mrafrohead In reply to What's the problem?

In regards to Slammer.

Actually, yes, EVERY SINGLE INFECTED SERVER DID ASK FOR IT! That is due to poor administration on the Network Admins behalf. There were patches released prior to Slammer hitting MONTHS BEFOREHAND. Had all systems been patched previously, Slammer would have had no effect whatsoever. So you can thank every single SysAdmin that failed to take seriously the threat that was proposed by David Litchfield.

As for Xbox Modding. That'd be alright, if he weren't paying hackers to do it in an open environment. That's like placing your skidmarked underoo's on your front door so everyone can see how filthy you are.

I think that selling Mod Chips are fine, but don't expect any further support from the manufacturer. In that sense, you aren't really "changing" the system in general. You are just adding to it.

If Robertson wanted hardware to run his OS on, he should develop it or hack the xbox himself. If he can't do either of those, then he should HIRE himself an independant and assign them the task. Better yet, he could just do it the legit way, since he's running a BUSINESS and discuss options with M$ themselves. Then pay royalties like most places ususally do. If he seriously wants to sell Lindows for XBox, he's just a jerk. The right way for this would be to keep it all opensource. Hack the Xbox, and then write the OS he wants and FREELY distribute it. That would be okay. Trying to profit off of someone elses work is dispicable.

Theproblem with consumers replacing the software with something else is this. MS doesn't want that. If they did, they would do it themselves. Xbox is a gaming console. Not a real computer. If you're looking for a computer, go buy a computer.

And I can NOT believe I am defending MS over The Penguin here, but Robertson is completely wrong and should be ashamed of himself.


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I understand your opinion, yet..

by SomeAdmin In reply to This is the problem.

I think I understand your opinion, yet...

I don't see any similarity between coding malicious viruses or worms and coding to allow a different OS on a game console.

Also I personally don't limit my definition of computers to PC's. There's a whole range of computers from IBM mainframes to handheld devices that have enjoyed the option of free software. Why not add game consoles to the list?

I'm happy that Linux, FreeBSD, *BSD, *BEOS, etc. do not pay royalties to hardware manufacturers. In fact, I doubt that Microsoft ever paid royalties when Microsoft sold their alternative OS to PC-DOS or OS/2.

I view the OS as any other software. I believe that people have the right to load whatever software they want to run the hardware they own. If I want to use my "computer" as a firewall, Internet browser, typewritter, calculator or gaming console: that's my choice.

I do NOT think that manufacturers are "wrong" to use hardware protection schemes or legal restrictions on the development tools they license.

I also do NOT think that consumers are "wrong" to develop software for the computer hardware they own.

Whatever Mr. Robertson's motives are, I don't think the Xbox hack is hurting anyone.

In close, we may agree to disagree, but I'd like to leave you with this thought. Where would PCs (and Microsoft for that matter) be today if IBM did not open their hardware specifications? What if IBM instead sold PCs with a security chip that forced everyone to use PC-DOS and OS/2?

I think the phenomenal success of the PC-Clone should guide our judgement in this issue.

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I modded my freezer.

by admin In reply to I understand your opinion ...

I rebuilt the thermostat to keep a nice 6-7 degree celsius temp and then put a big stainless tower on top with a Guinness faucet over a stainless drip tray I got for 50 cents a pound.

I hope no one is angry :)

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by SomeAdmin In reply to I modded my freezer.

Whaa Ha Ha. Bet that was "rewarding"!

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At last...

by GuruOfDos In reply to I modded my freezer.

A tech doing something 'worthwhile'!

To quote myself...

An engineer without beer is like a vibrator without just cannot perform to the total satisfaction of the end user!

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Many VERY good points!

by mrafrohead In reply to I understand your opinion ...


In your above post, you have many good points. I love your "Deep Thought". And the answer: We'd all be using Macs **cheeze eating grin**

I agree with you in regards to computers not just being PC's. I just look at a gaming console as a gaming console. It's not a pc in my opinion. Never will be. Although the XBOX is as close as they come right now. Processor, memory, hard drive. But, it's still just a console. A dummy machine.

I have no problems with people hacking the Xbox. I have problems with a company trying to hack it for their own personal gain.

Mr. Robertsons motives as they appear to me from what I'm reading are greed. I think that this is a smudge for the Linux community. And a really bad one at that. I unfortunately am VERY new to the Linux world. I don't know the software very well, but I use a lot of Linux programs ported through Windoze. I love the Open Source community. What Mr. Robertson appears to be doing is inexcusable and appears to stray away from the whole "Linux way of life" as I understand it.


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Hack for Good, for Truth and for Free!

by admin In reply to This is the problem.

I agree. Prize money taints everything it touches.

Long live the DIY modders and hackers!


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