Press Inequities: Zeus is the Linux of Malware


No ROM battery
"Anything for a buck!" -- That's what my good friend Ricardo would say in an approving tone, had he read read Ars Technica take on the Zeus botnet kit source code leak and possible consequences.

I'm not going to link to it, because Press Inequities isn't about to promote bad press. Rather, denounce it. There's enough material in here to allow you to quickly find what I'm talking about.

Anything for a buck, because it's well know that an article title may make the difference between many or few page hits. A title sells the article. So, it's not a matter of how adequate a title is, how correct it is, how appropriate it is. It's about how shocking it is, so readers go look inside.

Ars Technica decided to name its piece "Free as in (taking away your) freedom: the Linux of botnets arrives". And there you have it. Linux is free, Zeus became open source and the obvious conclusion is...

Forget that Zeus operates in Windows and spreads its disease through Windows machines. That is so passé. Doesn't come as a shocker anymore. I mean, Microsoft is the devil everyone knows. Something more provocative is needed. So there you have it, Zeus is the Linux of malware.

What, you think I'm stretching it a bit with that last sentence? That that's not what the title is actually saying? How this subtitle further down the article works for you, The "Linux of malware"?


But it's just a title right? No harm done, right? The actual article text still talks about Zeus and doesn't even once tries to associate it Linux, right?

Right... No harm done. Wouldn't hold on court, for sure. It's just a little prank. A joke. Nothing to be taken seriously. The world won't stop for it and nothing will change.

Bad it's still crap journalism. Something out of the pages of the worst News of The World, or The Sun, had to offer. (What would be the American equivalent?).

So, a title like "Zeus may go open source: Can become more dangerous than ever" wasn't deemed appropriate. No, what's important is "Child kills parents and then goes out with friends for an Ice cream".


Partition Master
Give Ars credit for knowing their readership. For a more mainstream audience the association would be unconscionable, but after taking time to digest the numerous comments, it's rather comical.