A fake Microsoft Corp. Web-site URL, being sent widely through E-mail, parodies the company's technical help pages. The site, titled "HOWTO: Read the [expletive deleted] Manual," makes fun of novice computer users. The profanity-riddled page looks similar to Microsoft's Web site, but Microsoft says the site isn't one of its domains, and that Microsoft wasn't hacked.
The site is located at http://[email protected]/pub/mskb/Q209354.asp.
The incident isn't a security breach, but rather a novel approach to URL syntax. When users click on the link, their browsers are parsing the URL to actually direct them to www.hwnd.net.
It works like this:
The "www.microsoft.com&item=q209354" part of the link is taken as a user name by the Web site. And "www.hwnd.net/pub/mskb/Q209354.asp" is the actual page that gets returned to the browser.
Microsoft says it's not sure what, if any, legal action would be taken if a culprit were found.