Microsoft Patents Insecure Software

by Brian Briggs (July 2004)

Redmond, WA - The US patent office awarded US patent 9,724,341 to Microsoft for its unique method in creating massive vulnerabilities in its software using Internet Explorer and ActiveX.

Riddle with holes "The patent office recognized that Internet Explorer and ActiveX are a unique innovation in operating system insecurity," shouted Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "Once again our innovations are being recognized, and our competitors, mainly Linux, will not be able to copy our security holes. Yes!"

Ballmer also screamed that Microsoft would leverage this patent to "charge excessive license fees to our competitors who also want to create insecure software."

Microsoft has used the technology on a smaller scale in its Office productivity suite, but plans a wider scale rollout among its other product lines, including its game titles, and even to its popular hardware lines. Microsoft's Vice President of Hardware Products, Kevin Torgo said, "Our popular mice and keyboards will be riddled with vulnerabilities in their next versions. I can't wait to see what we can do with this on the Xbox and Xbox Live."

Open Source advocates who usually protest software patents agree that Microsoft has been the innovator in insecurity. "I think most software patents are ridiculous. I don't think there is any example of a company creating such vulnerabilities on such a widespread scale as Microsoft, so I think their patent is safe from prior art challenges," said Ted Lofgren of the Open Source Consortium Foundation. Related News

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Many computer users said they would continue to use the Microsoft products despite their security vulnerabilities because they were "too dumb to know any different" and "welcomed the opportunity to invite hackers to steal their banking information."

Spyware creator Sneakysoft applauds the decision and cannot wait for the widespread adoption by the industry, "We're excited by this announcement, and hope that other software manufacturers will embrace this technology."

Microsoft's application for a patent on "the process to eliminate competition through unfair business practices" was denied.

(This was passed around on several lists and on slashdot. I found what may be the original version at Visit them; they have a lot of good stuff.