FireFox Spyware Hoax Spreads
February 27, 2005
On February 16, 2005, Microsoft released their anti-spyware agent name "Microsoft AntiSpyware." The response from the release so far has been generally well received, even if it was not home grown by Microsoft. Microsoft bought the intellectual property rights of Giant AntiSpyware, and marketed it under their own name. The software is free of charge.
Yesterday, a screen shot began circulating across the Internet. The screenshot was of Microsoft's AntiSpyware program identifying Mozilla FireFox as spyware. According to the screen shot, it noted FireFox "vulnerable to a lack of security updates" and "...is a very high risk thread and should be removed immediately."
Admittidly, the screen shot is very well made. Local discussion on IRC also questioned whether the screen shot was authentic or not. However, after downloading, installing and running Microsoft AntiSpyware with Mozilla FireFox installed, it was quickly learned this screen shot was nothing more than an extremely clever hoax.
Despite this, several major news sites have posted this as real news. Please note this is not true; Microsoft AntiSpyware does not recognize FireFox as spyware.