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12.14.09

Microsoft Hides Its Own Flaws, Cheats Customers

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Haha, very funny pig
Even swine flu vaccines are delivered
more quickly than Microsoft patches

Summary: Microsoft delivers patches only after customers are attacked (despite having prior warnings) and then cheats when it comes to the number of patches it issues

ACCORDING TO PC Magazine, Microsoft neglects to look for its own bugs.

Sotirov noted that it’s TippingPoint’s and VeriSign’s customers who were paying for this research and that Microsoft should be paying too. Surely, I asked, Microsoft does vulnerability research on their own product. At this point another famous researcher, Dino Dai Zovi, piped in to say no: “Apple is the only vendor that I know of that releases patches for vulns found internally.”

This rang true; I know I’ve read Apple advisories that credited internal research and I couldn’t recall a Microsoft advisory that credited their own. I looked and not a single vulnerability disclosure (so far) in 2009 was credited explicitly to Microsoft. I asked Microsoft about it.

Their answer… Well, of course they look for and find these things, but not so much.

Microsoft’s negligence may justify lawsuits. To make matters worse, Microsoft lies about security, usually by hiding known flaws. The following new report from IDG is very damaging: “Microsoft knew of just-patched IE zero-day for months”

Microsoft may not have hustled as fast as researchers thought when the company patched a zero-day bug in Internet Explorer (IE) just 18 days after exploit code went public.

According to VeriSign iDefense, Microsoft had information about the browser bug nearly six months before the researcher dubbed “K4mr4n” posted attack code to the Bugtraq security mailing list on Nov. 20.

More hidden patches have just arrived.

Microsoft Releases Surprise Advisory

Hidden behind the Patch Tuesday updates, Microsoft released two separate security advisories and one set of updates that were not mentioned in the advance notification.

Regarding the latest Internet Explorer (IE) flaw that we wrote about before [1, 2, 3], Microsoft gives too little, too late, and being a zero-day flaw, damage has already been done.

Probably the most important update for most users is the one for Internet Explorer, which corrects five critical flaws in IE 6, 7 and 8. These are vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit to quietly install malicious software on your machine if you browse with IE to a hacked or booby-trapped site.

This only justifies the use of non-IE Web browsers. The way in which Microsoft delivers security updates is already being exploited [1, 2] to actually push malware rather than a fix.

Malware distributors continue resorting to the fake software update lure for their email spam campaigns. The latest attack poses as a notification regarding a Windows security bulletin, which links to a malicious executable.

The rogue emails impersonate Steve Lipner, Microsoft’s Director of Security Assurance, who allegedly informs the receiver about a high-priority security update for all versions of Windows. “Please notice that Microsoft company has recently issued a Security Update for OS Microsoft Windows. The update applies to the following OS versions: Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Millenium [sic], Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Windows 7,” the fake message reads.

It remains the job of some GNU/Linux-powered gateways to keep Windows more secure.

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