Why Should Microsoft Need eBay's Help In Fixing An Excel Problem?

from the just-wondering... dept

Apparently someone who worked out a security flaw in Microsoft Excel sent the company the details of the flaw, and then turned around and offered up the details on eBay. eBay shut down the auction, pointing out that they have a "policy against encouraging illegal activity." Of course, it's not clear that knowing the details of a software flaw is "illegal activity," but that's besides the point. What is odd, though, is that the press report claims: "Microsoft is aware of the reported flaw and has been working with eBay on the matter, a company representative said in a statement." Working with eBay? What work could Microsoft possibly have to do with eBay? Shouldn't the work be focused on fixing the flaw in their own software, rather than (as the quote suggests) trying to track down the guy who is trying to expose it?
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  1. identicon
    The Other Mike, 9 Dec 2005 @ 12:12pm

    No Subject Given

    Are you sure the statement wasn't in reference to the flaw being put up for auction?


    As in, "Microsoft is aware of the flaw and is working with eBay to resolve this (auction) matter."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Mike (profile), 9 Dec 2005 @ 12:22pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    That is probably what they're talking about, but it still seems odd, doesn't it? Shouldn't the focus simply be on fixing the flaw? There's nothing to "work with" eBay about. If the auction goes against their policies they'll remove it

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Ben, 9 Dec 2005 @ 12:37pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    I'm sure they are focusing on fixing the flaw, but until the time when it is fixed they don't want it getting to the general public.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    The Other Mike, 9 Dec 2005 @ 12:38pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Agreed, but you know PR departments, and their lawyers, and their drive to put anyone in jail that looks at a company wrong.

    Some MS lawyer is likely looking for a name to put on a lawsuit while the code monkeys are looking for a way to fix the original problem. In the end the idiot who put the problem up for sale will be blamed for creating it when they (the PR people)have to explain the situation to the bosses at MS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Stephen Tillman, 9 Dec 2005 @ 1:01pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    (sarcasm) You mean the media is misapplying the focus of a story in regards to technology?!? ::gasp:: (/sarcasm)
    Sounds to me like it's just a poor choice of words. Kinda like ending your sentence with a preposition. I hate grammer, so...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Azuravian, 9 Dec 2005 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Prepositions

    Ending a sentence in a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
    -- Winston Churchill --

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    mike, 9 Dec 2005 @ 1:51pm

    No Subject Given

    is it possible that microsoft is not aware of what the bug actually is? maybe they need this guy to find out what he knows

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    cMoo92, 9 Dec 2005 @ 2:29pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    I'm quite sure they are aware of the problem since I'm sure they've seen a copy of the eBay auction. It's just a matter of how long it will be before they release the patch...grr...(mumbles about how much I hate MS and the like)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    LoneWolf, 9 Dec 2005 @ 2:43pm

    No Subject Given

    situation seems fishy to me. all the more reason for folks to support OpenOffice...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2005 @ 2:55pm

    No Subject Given

    ^^^ Hey you, read.

    "someone who worked out a security flaw in Microsoft Excel *sent the company the details of the flaw*"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    bigpicture, 9 Dec 2005 @ 3:35pm

    MS Practices and the Excel Flaw

    When it comes to balancing the rights of the individual, the rights of society at large, and the rights of corporations, and the practicalities and needs of an effectively working marketplace, is it all the rights that money can buy, or all the corruption that money can buy?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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