Where do they find these people?

2003-08-07 12:50

“Yeah, Microsoft.”

That’s what he said.

To understand this fully, you have to see the whole conversation. Here’s part of the transcript of the deposition of Dan Rogers, who is the “Dan” of CaDan corporation, the company which sent me no less than 77 junk faxes. The “Ca” apparently refers to the company’s founder, his wife Cassandra. (She hasn’t been deposed yet.)

In this transcript, “Q“uestions are asked by my lawyer, and “A“nswers are given by Dan Rogers, answering on behalf of CaDan corporation.

(Starting around Page 20 of the deposition)


Q: And why did you send this out?

A: Well, Microsoft had just made a strong effort to communicate security due to a significant amount of breach of security that was being recognized in the early part, mid part of 2002, and there was a lot of concern about Microsoft’s credibility in the marketplace. Maybe back door ability to get into fire walls, things like that. And with that awareness now we want to make sure clients knew that Microsoft was not part of the problem, and it was a pretty critical message that needed to go out. I don’t know if your client benefitted, but I’m assuming he did, by that awareness.

Particularly Internet providers, they’re probably one of the biggest hacked in the computer industry, and getting current information, correct information or the ability to know where they can source organizations that are doing the right steps to protect their organization is critical.

Q: Was there a particular product that this was for?

A: Yeah, Microsoft.

Q: A particular Microsoft product?

A: Yeah, Microsoft security products.


Curiousity sparked, I went and looked up the ad he was talking about. It was sent on Thursday, May 16th 2002, at 9:50 AM. (I’ll tell you why I care about that later.) Here’s what it says, with some effort at preserving the formatting.


TRUST THE INSIDERS TO KNOW THE RIGHT


COMBINATION FOR NETWORK SECURITY




Establish sound security measures and policies  Deploy Strategic Technology Protection Program tools
(picture of combination lock dial)
Define virus protection processesManage security updates and upgrades

WE’LL HELP PROTECT YOUR ASSETS


Microsoft® Certified Partners are dialed into Microsoft’s commitment

To making customers’ systems more secure. As such, we’re up-to speed on

Microsoft’s Strategic Technology Protection Program that ensures you Get

Secure and Stay Secure
through special tools, services, and ongoing support.


Unlock your full potential. Call or e-mail us today.


What’s the problem here? Well, ignore the fact that I’m not a client, and never was. The problem here is that this guy wouldn’t know “correct information” about security if it bit him in the ass. The problem is that, in fact, Microsoft is the problem, and the reason that, to the best of my knowledge, Plethora Internet has never had a security breach is that we do not run Microsoft products, at all. We’re not stupid. I sometimes boot Windows on my laptop. In fact, between my initial draft of the developerWorks article I linked to there, and the final editing pass (about two weeks), there were three more critical security updates for Windows XP. And, so far as I know, a grand total of zero security holes discovered in the BSD unixes we run our systems on.

The problem is that this guy is a salesman who is simply not competent to make or evaluate technical decisions; he doesn’t show any sign of knowing what the words mean. “Yeah, Microsoft.” Microsoft is not a specific product to anyone but a stock broker; to the rest of us, they are a giant company with dozens of different products, only some of which are “security” products. Furthermore, even I, a casual user, know that Microsoft’s security push had to do with their regular product suite. It’s not about “security products”, it’s about Windows, Outlook, and Office – the programs responsible for an overwhelming majority of the security breaches in the world today. But not all of them, I must admit.

Peter Seebach

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Comments

  1. Good understanding giveth favor; but the way for transgessors is hard. Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge; but a fool layeth open his folly. A wicked messenger falleth into mischief; but a faithful ambassador is health.

    Pr. 13:15-17

    The Wisdom writings are bad enough. Just wait until we make it into the Minor Prophets!

    — seebs_lawyer · 2003-08-07 21:45 · #

 
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