Microsoft's Hacker Bounty A PR Stunt Of Misdirection

from the quick,-look-that-way... dept

Last week, Microsoft received a ridiculous amount of press coverage for setting aside Bill Gates’ pocket change to anyone who can track down a hacker. It appears the press is finally catching on to why this isn’t such a hot idea. This was a publicity stunt, pure and simple. However, it did take the attention off the real problem: the insecurity of Microsoft’s software. Arresting a hacker or two isn’t going to stop people from creating and releasing viruses and worms. It will make for a good press story, but it doesn’t address the underlying problem with the software itself.

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Comments on “Microsoft's Hacker Bounty A PR Stunt Of Misdirection”

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alternatives says:

Re: While we're at it ...

In fact, all that money we spend on cops and security fences hasn’t stopped burglaries either

Locks keep honest people honest is all. All you can hope for is when you have PICTURES of the perp in a burglary is the cops don’t say “Do you reconginize this person? No? Then how are we supposed to find them?” (That was the summary given to me by one of my clients about their break-in)

The counter PR spin on the story is “Spamming and the tools spammers use has gotten so bad that Microsoft is offering bounties on the heads of the pro-spammer tools” (sobig is a spamming tool)

FreeWine (user link) says:

Coercion in the commons

“Arresting a hacker or two isn’t going to stop people from creating and releasing viruses and worms.”

You also could say that execution isn’t a cure for murder and jail isn’t complete solution for theft. However, disincentives are the classic method this society uses to discourage anti-social behavior. The response is no less rational simply because Microsoft funds it.

Of course, positive incentives are the other side of the coin. In the past, high salaries for people with high tech skills have served as a positive incentive to discourage wrecking the commons. I hope the recent trend of offshoring as many tech jobs as possible doesn’t exacerbate the problem in the United States.

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