1980’s R&B song with CVE! – Naked security

You’ve probably heard the old joke: “Humor in Public Service? This is no laughing matter!”

But the thing about these kinds of downbeat, blanket judgments is that it only takes a single counter-example to disprove them.

Something cannot be universally true if it is ever false, even for a moment.

So, wouldn’t it be nice if the public service could be excited once in a while…

…enthusiastic, in fact, as the catchy Janet Jackson dance number rhythm nationReleased in 1989 (yes, it was really that long ago)?

It was an era of shoulder pads, MTV, big-budget dance videos, and in-your-ears and in-your-face lyrical music that even YouTube’s contemporary auto-transcription system sometimes renders like this:

  Bass, bass, bass, bass
  ♪ (Upbeat R&B Music) ♪
  Dance beat, dance beat

Well, as Microsoft superblogger Raymond Chen pointed out last week, this very song was apparently involved in a surprising system crash vulnerability in the early 2000s.

According to Chen, a major laptop manufacturer of the day (he didn’t say which one) complained that playing certain music through the laptop speakers was prone to crashing Windows.

The crashes were not limited to the laptop playing the song, but could also trigger nearby laptops that were exposed to the “vulnerability-triggering” music, and even laptops from other vendors.