By Naven Jones, freelance investigative journalist

According to the mainstream press, there was a huge virus outbreak on August 16, 2005 that affected millions of Windows 2000 users. ABC News, CNN, The New York Times and many other major media outlets, as well as non-media firms that use Windows 2000 were hit hard. That very evening, I was relaxing in a Redmond area bar where a man I will call "David" had been drinking, and was talking very freely about his employer, Microsoft.

"That was no Virus!" he told me, and perhaps several others within earshot, as he had a loud voice. "David" went on to say, "The real story is that this date had originally been planned as the cutoff for Windows 2000. Any desktop which had not been upgraded to Windows XP or server that had not been upgraded to Windows Server 2003 would be forced to." He explained that  their systems would be disabled by a kill code that had been hidden in an automatic security update. "Systems would shut right down after boot, and refuse to run. When people called in for help they would be told that the support period for Windows 2000 has expired, and that perhaps it was time to upgrade. One of the suits even floated the idea of expiring all the licenses to use 2000 after the kill date! These ideas were bantered back and forth at several meetings till the whole idea was kyboshed." As he said, the plan was supposed to have been scrapped. Microsoft executives realized that the public backlash that would ensue would make even more people turn to Macintosh and Linux, and might even open them to lawsuits. Due to poor communication between departments in the leviathan software firm, the kill code had been sent out after all, and was executed. Only users who had not enabled automatic update, and had not been fed the kill code were unaffected. Spin doctors in Redmond and their lackeys at antivirus firms immediately dubbed this a virus attack, calling it a variant of the Rbot worm. They have even gone so far as to claim that there is an ongoing war between hacker groups to see who can disable more systems, and the outbreak was their handiwork.

"This was Microsoft screwing up!" my source exclaimed. "Whoever failed to deactivate the kill code, and maybe everyone else in their department will be fired, but the guys who cooked up the idea in the first place are really to blame. It should be their heads that roll! This isn't the first time a big snafu was blamed on viruses and hackers, and it won't be the last."

If what "David" has told me is true, and he seems perfectly credible, then we should all be skeptical when the mainstream press tells us there has been a major virus outbreak or hacker attack.