Microsoft fails miserably in looking cool

Riiight… Some of you guys may remember I work with computer security. Safe software development, but I want to become a hacker hunter someday too. So, whenever I see stuff related to the topic, I have to read it.

Recently there’s been a great demand for security-related material here. MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) responded in a way that’s… Let’s say, not very professional.

So, today I opened my mailbox and there was an email with “Confidential” written in the title. Actually, the whole title goes “confidential message from MSDN - keep a low profile when opening”.

Right, in the first second my reaction was a complete “WTF!”. So I went and opened the email. A huge image loaded. I’m showing you the part that has a drawing:

So I said to myself: “what, MSDN is into making games now? I thought that was with Microsoft Game Studios”.

The message follows like this (I’m copying the email’s formatting):

<table width=600><tr><th bgcolor=#000000>[b]Hey, pal.

My name is Dr. Gib. A stranger for you.

This is our first contact. Top Secret. And I hope you keep it so, pal.

I am the Master Leader of NET PROTECTOR. And I have been keeping an eye on you for some time.

Chaos has made its way into the HyperSafe world: we are being threatened by a gang of otakus and zippies, scums of society.

A [color=yellow]SAFE ARMY has been assembled. Under my command. To exterminate them one by one. And you have been chosen.

If you want to meet us, click here* and SEARCH for NET PROTECTOR.

But keep this as our little secret. Otherwise we will face grave consequences.

The code is camouflaged. A Grade III intelligence test.

We know what you are capable of, pal.[/COLOR][/b]</th></tr></table>
*this was a link to MSDN with a query string in the URL.

No, I’m not kidding.

Checking the link and following the instructions, I got into a page that had a nine questions survey about how Microsoft deals with security. You know, about fixing safety breaches in Windows, releasing tools for malware removal, Windows Update etc.

And it was written in the very same style as the message above, but more random and making even less sense. One of the questions was “Associating itself with other armies is a CyberWar tatic used by NET PROTECTOR. How do you evaluate the safety of Microsoft’s technologies?”.

Just by the side of the survey there was another message:

<table width=600><tr><th bgcolor=#000000>[b]Hey, pal.

This is our second contact - Top confidential.

Net Protector is assembling an army with special abilities to undermine the attacks of REVIAN*: a gang lead by 3 ex-combatants of Takashida’s CyberWar.

They have installed chips in the brains of thousands of cypherpunks, otakus and zippies, in order to dominate the HyperSafe world.

You passed the first test, pal. Now our database will collect info to provide you with your [color=yellow]survival equipment.

Dr. Gib
*I wonder if this is a stupid reference to Debian

My two cents:

For one thing, I’ve received all kinds of email from Microsoft, but this is by far the most retarded one.

I mean, most security specialists are way more mature than that. I like detective stories and all, but a 22-year-old guy who aims to make a serious name in the world of computer business being called pal like that and being introduced to a debased conspiracy story a la John Nash is just wrong in more levels than I can count.

And when we want security material, we expect to get books and articles with all that technical mumbo-jumbo that would make mortals yawn.

If Microsoft trains its security staff with this kind of material, then all of Windows’s breaches are explained.

On another note, Microsoft is now officially pursuing otakus with a seek-and-destroy covert operation. You guys run and hide for your lives. I don’t know what will happen to my or my family for leaking this secret, so if you never see me again, know that I enjoyed all the time I spent here. It was nice to meet you, fellow RPGC’ers.

Are you SHITTING me? That stuff is hilarious.

What else is new? This isn’t the first time and it won’t be last.

Fail for Trying to Hard!!!

I will bet you a all the Brahva in Brazil your new superviser will call you pal. Provided you accept their offer.


ahahahahahaha no

If I got something like this, I’d respond with a swath of … nah, I wouldn’t be able to seriously type something in leet. Maybe AOLish (or Arfenhousian).

Congratulations on passing the Top Confidential Grade III intelligence test. Good luck protecting the HyperSafe world from otakus and zippies. Maybe you should look for some more armies to associate yourself with.

What the fuck is a Zipp(ie)(y)?

So their enemies are otakus, cypherpunks, and zippies.

I always knew MS felt threatened by international competition and people who like privacy, but <i>zippies!?</i> What have they ever done you you, Mr. Gates!

I know what an otaku is, though not why you’d need to protect much of anything from them, but what’s a zippie?

I was wondering the same thing. the only zippy I can think of is this.

I concur.


I take it, Rainbow wasn’t just shown in UK.

Otaku? Causing chaos?

whee. Whoa, yeah…some geeks cosplaying with plastic weapons. Yeah, REAL scary. wipes tear from eye XD

Zippies are cyberpunk hippies, it seems. Yes, I know a punk hippie, even if a cyberpunk one, is an oxymoron.

I googled for “zippies” and the first link in the result lead me to this:

They also have a definition for otakus, as well as their subtypes:

Though I digress in some points.

Otakus are mainly Japanese computer nerds who live in front of their computers and playstasions surfing the Net and playing computer games, totally alienated and isolated from the outside world(…)
Most otake aren’t japanese.

For God’s sake, please no! That word sounds like “dick” or “cock” in Brazillian Portuguese. If I ever have a boss who addresses me by saying “hello cock, how are you doing” I’ll quit and sue. I think it’d be even some kind of sexual harassment.

I’m probably way, way off but here’s what I think.

A good couple years ago I read in PC Gamer that someone was developing a game that was to be played in real life. It was a spy/detective style story which was played in real time through the use of phone calls, voice mails, emails so forth. Clues were distributed through these methods and the object of the game was to catch the villian, solve the mystery or whatever the story was. The first thing that came to mind was that game. Whether or not it ever saw the light of day is beyond me, I don’t think I ever heard anything else about it.

Majestic, I believe

Poor reviews, due to limited time actually exploring the content, and poor sales. It stopped after a few months.

It crossed my mind while washing the dishes tonight that it might be an <a href=“”>ARG</a>.

That or some kind of phishing scam.

I hate the word “phishing” by the way. It sounds like it was selected from a pool of candidates by a focus group.

You are not being a very good employee by letting out these TOP SECRET COMPANY SECRETS OF SECRECY >:(