What’s a Month in the Security World

On the very day that Dana suggested it, February 18th 2004, I went ahead and ordered the Microsoft Windows Update CD. It allowed 2-4 weeks delivery which I thought wasn’t the best as far as getting updates out to the people, but was better than the 6-8 weeks that most places will give you.

And then I forgot about it.

Today I was informed that it shipped. That’s hmm….. a month and a half later. And that is its shipped, they still want me to allow 3-8 business days for it to arrive. So here’s the email I got:

From: service@microsoft.com

Subject: Microsoft Order Complete –Order Number: 424242424242


Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 00:18:30 -0800

X-Mailer: Microsoft CDO for Windows 2000

Message-ID: <270a01c4188b$14bd5650$2f55fd0a@partners.extranet.microsoft.com>


Please keep this e-mail for your records.


All active items in your order for Microsoft Products have been shipped.

We at Microsoft are interested in your opinion regarding the Windows Security Update CD you have recently ordered. A marketing research firm* has been commissioned to conduct a survey in approximately two weeks. For those who participate in the follow-up survey, there is a chance to win 1 of 5 $100 gift certificates to Amazon. If you are interested in being notified of this research, please click on the link below to provide us with your email address:

[suspicious looking link]

[blah blah blah]

First I thought the email was spam because of how they tried to get me to

  • go to a non-microsoft website
  • provide my email address (which they already have) at said website
  • say how I could win a $100 gift certificate

Now I’m sure you’ll say that they’re trying really hard, and it’s such a huge demand that they can’t keep up, or something like that, but the end result is that security can change very rapidly, and two months is a lot of time in the security world. Of course, security is changing rapidly enough that even when you use the CD to update your system you still have to do the update, reboot, update, reboot dance.

That’s three strikes for Microsoft so far today, I must be in an especially bitter mood.