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Quaker Oats threatens to sue actual Quakers for trademark infringement

May 17, 20163 mins
Data and Information SecurityInternet SecuritySecurity

Bits and bytes from around the web

A gray hat replacing the Locky ransomware payload with a PSA, Windows 10 to double the number of ads after the Anniversary Update, and Quaker Oats threatening to sue actual Quakers for trademark infringement are some of the varied bits and bytes that caught my attention today.

New Locky ransomware PSA

The command and control servers for Locky ransomware were previously hacked to show a “Stupid Locky” message instead of locking a victim’s machine, but F-Secure researcher Sean Sullivan discovered “a similar grey hat hack” that delivers a PSA to would-be Locky victims.

Reddit Technology to warn users about ad-blocking sites, Windows 10 to double ads

Even as mods for the subreddit Technology plan to start marking submissions to sites that require readers to disable ad-blockers with an “AdBlock WARNING,” Microsoft is going to double the number of ads in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Ads is not the term Microsoft used at the WinHEC 2016 conference (pdf); instead, Microsoft said it would change the number of “promoted apps” in the Start menu from five to 10. Just what you wanted, more ads to attempt to push you to the Windows Store. Another slide indicated the apps can be uninstalled.

Don’t click on the X on Windows 10 upgrade notice

Speaking of Windows, if you don’t have and don’t want Windows 10 and Windows 10 gets scheduled as a sneaky Update, forget everything you know about closing programs and do not click on the red X. Gregg Keizer explained:

Speaking of being careful about what you click, it’s nearly time to whip out the itsy-bitsy tiny-weeny bikini—or whatever the male equivalent is to that. If that puts you in a panic and sends you searching online for a diet, then you might want to pay attention to a new Intel Security study, “Online Security Diet: You Are What You Click.”

It’s truly sad how many of the surveyed 746 dudes and 756 chicks would click on a link about a diet program—even realizing it might lead to malware—and then give out their email address and full name with the hope of obtaining a discount or use of a service to help them reach their desired bikini weight. More information can be found in a blog post by McAfee’s Gary Davis.

Quaker Oats wanted to sue Quakers for trademark infringement

This last bit is for fun because it amused me.

Apparently Quaker Oats is not busy enough handling the lawsuit disputing its “100% natural” claim, or busy enough recalling Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars “due to a possible health risk,” or busy putting out PR fires about rejecting an 80-year-old man’s recipe for a contest because it was handwritten. Now Quaker Oats is trying to sue actual Quakers for infringing on the company’s trademark.

The notice “Quaker Oats threatens to sue us” was posted on the Orange County Friends Meeting, which is a religious society of Quakers. Quaker Oats objects to the business name “Quaker Oats Christmas Tree Farm” and demanded the Quakers immediately stop all use of the “Quaker Oats name” because it says using the trademark is misleading.

The attorney for Quaker Oats was so enthusiastic about suing that she failed to notice the farm’s name was actually Quaker Oaks.

The best part, to me at least, is the Quakers’ response. It’s doubtful the Quakers could counter-sue Quaker Oats for choosing to associate its products with the Quaker faith, but I was amused by how politely and pointedly the Quakers responded.

ms smith

Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.