Electronics News: FTDI admits to destroying counterfeit consumer equipment, Ars Technica and Shashdot report Microsoft removes driver update.

Ars Technica revised an article I referenced yesterday to indicate that FTDI removed a few drivers from the latest Windows update:

Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update.

A post on Slashdot also references this:

Last night, FTDI, a Scottish manufacturer of USB-to-serial ICs, posted a response to the ongoing debacle over its allegedly intentional bricking of competitors’ chips. In their statement, FTDI CEO Fred Dart said, “The recently release driver release has now been removed from Windows Update so that on-the-fly updating cannot occur. The driver is in the process of being updated and will be released next week. This will still uphold our stance against devices that are not genuine, but do so in a non-invasive way that means that there is no risk of end user’s hardware being directly affected.” This may have resulted from a discussion with Microsoft engineers about the implications of distributing potentially malicious driver software.

I can’t find this in any “official” news reports yet.

I have been going back and forth to try to figure out if I agree with FTDI’s move.  After all, they are protecting their intellectual property… but after reading the following comment by qwerty79 on the above Ars Technica article I have decided that I don’t agree with the method chosen.

What they have done is nothing short vigilantism. If Ford believes GM is copying their design, you don’t see Ford going around bashing windows and pouring gasoline on the seats just to get even. You go to court, that’s the way to solve it.
24 October, 2014 01:21


(Published from DFW, Texas)

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