back to article Android malware victims offered free WinPhones by MS

Microsoft is offering free Windows phones to Android malware victims, providing they are prepared to tell world+dog about their problems. The marketing stunt - already given the hashtag #droidrage on Twitter - follows a run of publicity about android malware. Ben Rudolph (@BenthePCGuy), the Microsoft Windows Phone "evangelist …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Android malware victims offered free WinPhones by MS"

    ...because MS products are notoriously free from malware, viruses etc!

  2. tmTM


    Will Google or someone be offering free phones to WP8 users everytime they're hit with a security bug?

    I doubt anyone has deep enough pockets for that.

  3. ShelLuser


    Aye.. As other posters already mentioned; WM7 isn't free of issues too. For example; being able to disable the entire message (SMS) service by merely sending one specific SMS to the phone isn't exactly reassuring where security is concerned.

    I wonder if the people who get this offer are also allowed to publicly share their WM7 experiences (outside of commercial (ad) channels).

    Oh the irony if one of those 5 people would accept the WM7 phone; only to be hit by some other piece of malware in the weeks thereafter...

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Ironic that WP7 has just been hit my a remote exploit malware that means you need to hard reset your phone.

    I don't think it gets any more EPIC FAIL than that.

  5. Bean0

    Haha how true. I was just musing how long it'd take before this backfired spectacularly... Possibly much shorter than I would have guessed at...

  6. GatesFanbois

    No malware which requires a hard reset is a fail. An epic fail is downloading something from the official app store which results in you getting a huge bill because of the premium services it has signed you up to.

  7. Craigness


    The epic fail is confirming that the app is able to send premium rate SMSs, authorising it to do so by accepting the TOS, and then complaining when it does it. It's easy enough not to do this; I've blocked the Facebook app for precisely this reason.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not quite

    Truth hurts sometimes. Android daily malware news bulletin at your nearest newsagent?

    As for what you described as malware in WP it's not. Apparently if a SMS with some specific characters in it, it may crash your mobile. That's not confirmed yet and the guy who found it won't disclose it. And if even if there is such a problem there will be an update from Microsoft (Now compare that to the mess Android is with updates!). I have already received an update after Mango for an exchange fix.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WP7 needs a full wipe and factory reset.

    if you get this SMS. That is a remote exploit. It's great fun, in the unlikely event you know someone with a Windows Phone.

    You can also bet this is just the tip of the iceberg, and more exploits will be discovered on a weekly basis, just like Windows...

  10. The Original Ash

    "#droidrage Received my new Windows Phone! Got sent SMS, phone rebooted and now borked and returned. Thanks, Microsoft."

  11. Jim Coleman

    I reckon most owners of phones running the Internet Advertising Company's Linux fork* would be happy to receive a phone running the "What Mobile?" Mobile OS of the Year 2011.

    *Android (IYHTBT)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow 5 posts mentioning the What Mobile Phone of the year...

    127 posts mentioning how good Windows Mobile is and how bad the competitors are...

    I hope you're just a Rabid Windows Fanboy rather than an actual shill for Microsoft.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    I think

    he forgot to tick the Anonymous Coward tickbox, and one of their hundreds of MS shill accounts just got compromised.

    Too bad they didn't use Opera, Chrome, or Firefox, as it would take 10 seconds to make an extension that ticked the AC tickbox as standard.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Do you think you don't sound like a Google shill?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Do you think you don't sound like a Google shill?"

    The boy who cried Google. You must work for Nokia.

  16. Jim Coleman

    @AC: The irony of you posting that anonymously is delicious, thanks for the chuckle.

    The thought of you trawling through my posts is a bit creepy though. But yeah, I like WP7, whoop-de-fuckin'-doo. So sue me.

  17. Doug 3

    many employees, some are likely to be paid to post on blogs

    the cat's already out of the bag on this but it seems many don't know that Microsoft pays people to post to blogs and forums. There should be little doubt that a company like Microsoft who is taking a wooping in the smartphone segment is behind many pro-Windows and pro-Microsoft posts here and elsewhere. I dont' think that many of their 1.7% user base are going to cause this much talk back.

  18. Jim Coleman

    @Doug 3: Proof, please, or STFU.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Not the same Jim Coleman as this one: ?

    A "Senior Technical Account Manager" at Microsoft?

    Nooo...surely not. Coincidence? Well I can't see why anyone would be so relentless in their pro-Microsoft posts to mention it won a single award 5 times. Not even Fanbois or Phandroids do that...

  20. Jim Coleman

    LOL actually no, that isn't me, I'm a freelance IT contractor and I definitely don't work for Microsoft. Bearing in mind how MS employs tens of thousands of people and how common the names Jim and Coleman are in the US, I'm not surprised someone with the same name has turned up as an MS employee. Heck, in the US there is a celebrity TV chef called Jim Coleman. That ain't me neither. Maybe if you were to give your name, I could find some comedy company that your own namesake works for.

    Anyway, the assertion that no-one could possibly be pro-MS without being paid for it is really childish, especially when you look across the tech sites on the Net and see how many positive comments are being made regarding WP7. Plenty of people are loving at, including many high profile tech journos. Haters gonna hate, as they say.

    But thanks for the chuckle, nonetheless. Keep 'em coming.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, great that settles it then. you can't possibly be working for Microsoft as no-one would ever lie on here.

    But at least you made a direct comparison between Microsoft and a "Comedy Company", first bit of sense you've spoken.

  22. Jim Coleman

    OK now you're calling me a liar, which really is offensive. Give me your name and I'll "prove" you work at a company that you don't. Or at the very least, stop making groundless, offensive attacks on other Register users. You have crossed the line.

  23. Jim Coleman

    "...mention it won a single award 5 times..."

    OK ok I'll try another one. The Mobile Gazette "Best Device of 2011". That's a Windows Phone as well. I promise I won't mention it was the What Mobile phone of the year 2011 any more. Happy now?


  24. Simbu

    Ah the voice of the uninformed...

    Apparently Jack Daniel hasn't actually used Mango then.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't give the buggers away now!

    MS they're always good for a laugh!

  26. Miek

    Beaten to the punchline ...

    "One security consultant joked that Android malware victims ought to be the last people who receive Windows Phone smartphones, even free ones. "Haven't they suffered enough?""

  27. CarlC


    in my best Mick-roSoft Voice, "No please come to us - we don't have malware (yet) - but do be careful what text messages you receive, ok?"

    Huge fail on MS's part - lets highlight someone elses issue just as a major exploit is found on our own OS.

  28. dotdavid

    Android Malware

    I'm a victim of it, and here's my sob story;

    I installed this t'other day -

    I'll get my coat.

  29. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    Giving away win-phones for free, what has Jack Daniel's been drinking??

  30. Owen Carter


    Google and Android deserve a lot of bad publicity from this.. I like Android a lot.. but the market is a sewer; a few dozen useful apps, a few dozen good games. And countless thousands of lightly polished shiny turds; sticky, shitty, clingy stuff you want out of your system, not in it.

    And all of them require you to allow full access to your Network; all of them want access to your contacts; without fail.

    - Do they want access for Ads or for Spamming? Tracking? Lulz?

    - Does anybody know?

    - Does anybody involved in running the Market care? apparently not.. I've never seen much evidence that anybody involved with the Market has ever pro-actively protected users..

    And don't get me started on all the apps that say 'Free' but actually require you to create an account with the developers; This goes double for all the facebook/twitter/chat social media aggregation apps where their real business is gathering a list of all your social media accounts and interactions in one place in order to monetise your personal details..

    Sooner or later it was inevitable that someone would pick this shit-covered stick up and start beating Google with it.. If MS want a way to differentiateWinP7 from Android; here it is..

  31. Daf L

    Why does it matter what they are going to use the access for or the list of contacts - as you have realised it's a bit too much access you don't install the app. The security worked, the phone warned you that the application required certain rights and asked you if you still wanted to allow it access.

    So 'good' apps become well known by having reputable authors with a decent company, strict privacy policy, reviews by trusted organisations etc

    This is just like Windows, Mac OS and even Linux on the desktop. You can simply install anything from anywhere on these platforms and they will not inform you what permissions they require. You use your common sense but you also aren't restricted to only programs that your OS maker decides you are allowed to access.

    Android is safer than any desktop in that respect - just use your friggin common sense - use the permissions to decide to install and don't try out any ol' crapware just for the fun of it.

  32. Miek

    I think this is an eventually that will be inescapable regardless of phone choice, although I'm totally with you up until the end of the first paragraph.

    "- Does anybody involved in running the Market care? apparently not.. I've never seen much evidence that anybody involved with the Market has ever pro-actively protected users.."

    Google have removed malware from the market and people's device in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

  33. KnucklesTheDog
    Thumb Down

    "And all of them require you to allow full access to your Network; all of them want access to your contacts; without fail."

    Err, just no. I'm sure you make some good points in there, but making stuff up which is blatantly not true doesn't really inspire me to find them.

  34. Alex Rose
    Thumb Up

    @Daf L


    "...use your common sense..."

    You clearly don't work in IT or you wouldn't make that kind of comment.

    People using their common sense, you've just made my day!

  35. Shakje

    @Alex Rose

    Isn't that the truth. Here's what really happens:

    1) Some users who don't know bugger all about security download an app and click ok on everything

    2) They review app and say it's amazing

    3) Users who might normally be more careful think that it's probably fine because lots of people reviewed it positively

    4) Because they won't see adverse affects, these users become desensitized to the boxes asking for permissions (and because of just how often you have to click ok to install some things) and ignore them

    And there you go, random shit being installed. Asking a user if they want something to do something doesn't make the system any more secure, the only way to almost guarantee security is to use the Apple model, but assuming that this is a bad thing as you probably do (I don't like the way that they treat developers, but for users it's a pretty good option in my opinion) then you'll just have to suck up the fact that permissions questions are a veneer of security to give people the idea that Android does something in their interest.

  36. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    @Owen Carter

    Sorry mate but the only reason the shit is in any of these market places is 'cos fucking idiots buy it! Market forces seem to break down in these online Fart-App festivals. In any normal business the shit is pushed down so far that the punters never get to see it but in these places it floats right to the top!

    I only use about a dozen apps at most so quite frankly so long as I can find half decent apps that do 90% of what I need without a load of shitty advertising and crashing, I'm happy. It's the idiots who think a digitised sound of a cow farting is actually funny, most of us got over that when we first found our old 8bit micros could do very basic digital capturing.

    You only have to read the reviews of some POS app to know there is one born every minute. The description is usually bloody obvious to describe the app as an utter waste of space. You then read the reviews by some arseholes complaining that is £1.99 was wasted on something that it was so bloody obvious it was a take on you wonder how they managed to even find the on switch on their mobiles! Nope 'cos it appears reading and comprehension are lost arts. Just spend an extra 30 seconds reading and they might no get fleeced.

    Mobile app markets back up the old adage, "Fool and his money are soon parted!".

  37. Owen Carter

    Removing malware after it has been in the market and installed many times is not the same as pro-actively preventing malware getting onto the market in the first place.

    That's why I used the words 'pro actively' 'ya see ;-)

  38. Owen Carter

    I want Android to succeed; but If the market gets a reputation as a sewer it will never be able to shake it off..

    And that requires a bit more of a Jobbsian attitude to the market by G; having a pogrom and throwing vast numbers of slimeball apps off it; in a storm of publicity/outrage from slimeball app developers, would do Google a power of good with their customers.

    And this is Android; if these apps are so great the devs can always create their own market system for people to use. The ability to install apps directly instead of being tied to the market is one of Androids defining 'open' features.

    The mechanism by which these crap apps survive is obvious to us here; it is also obvious to non technical folks, but they feel powerless to stop it and powerless to make really informed choices.

    Apple (while far, far, from being perfect) are still doing a much better job; My iDevice owning colleagues feel like Apple is actively trying to protect them; how many Android users feel the same?

  39. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Oh dear, it's the O'Leary school of marketing

    People tend to steer of companies who do stunts like that, if they can.

    Thankfully when it comes to mobile phones they can.

  40. Metz

    Anyone looking for a job in marketing?

    There's about the be a vacancy or 2 at Microsoft resulting from the monumental #fail of a viral campaign ;)

  41. Error Message Silver badge

    Whoring for Microsoft!

    And all I got was this lousy phone...

  42. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Do I have to have an android phone

    or can I just say mine got so infected I ditched it?

    And how can I root a winphone - has anyone got one to try it?

  43. Miek

    I wonder if XDA has an android ROM for a winphone

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is there an Android ROM I could put on it?


  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even if a windows phone could ever be seen as better than an android device infected with AIDS, giving them a different device wont raise their IQ above "ooohhhh pretty button must push" so the problem wont go away..and they'll continue to be scammed....If you are one of these people then please send me your e-mail address so that I can give you the fix for the android issues for the low low price of just £5.99 + £10P&P for on-line delivery only.

  46. eulampios

    the truth rapists

    Microsoft is very good at raping the truth. Firstly, the number of Android so-called malware does not number in thousands, even hundreds. Secondly, the two ways people can get it are fundamentally different for the two platforms.

    On Android you get it by the voluntary installation even though permissions of the app in question will most probably manifest its malice nature (unless some rare vulnerability is at at play).

    For the MS Windows we have that every website, "dirty" media, such as usbdrive, cd-dvd media, email attachment and the RPC marvel -- all are likely to become the infection vectors.

  47. Miek

    Speaking of the RPC marvel ... if you want to prevent the RPC service from working properly simply change your hostname once you have completed the OOBE (Out of box experience) and it completely drats it ;) Just an FYI. (Problem not confined to disk management but all RPC functionality)

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah ok

    So you would say that USB, CD/DVD and RPC are likely to be Windows Phone infection vectors? Don't mix apples and oranges...might as well just say "well Android is secure because Gmail is more secure than Hotmail". And how many of these are actually problems for Windows 7?

    Anon for flames.

  49. Roger Stenning

    "Haven't they suffered enough?"


  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free Android phones, anyone?

    Can I get a free Android phone if I tell a horror story about a machine running Windows?


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