EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.22.10

Microsoft Security Negligence Confirmed: Critical Internet Explorer Flaw Known and Ignored for 4 Months

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The newest facts show that Microsoft knowingly refused to fix flaws that led to tremendous damage; lies from Microsoft (about its competition) are refuted as well

IN MANY RECENT posts about Internet Explorer [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], we have pointed out Microsoft’s pattern of negligence [1, 2, 3], which always passes costs (damages) to the public. Microsoft should probably be sued for it, rather than make money from it. Microsoft — like Goldman Sachs — is making a lot of money out of a crisis caused by its own risk-taking.

Here are some self-explanatory news headlines:

Microsoft lies to your face about browser security

Microsoft’s Head of Security and Privacy in the UK has told TechRadar that people who jump ship from Internet Explorer after the recent spate of bad headlines risk ending up on a less secure browser. With France and Germany both advising a move away from Internet Explorer, things are far from rosy for Microsoft’s browser [...yet] Microsoft’s UK security chief Cliff Evans insists that a non-Microsoft browser is the worse option. “The net effect of switching [from IE] is that you will end up on less secure browser,” insisted Evans. “The risk [over this specific] exploit is minimal compared to Firefox or other competing browsers… you will be opening yourself up to security issues.

Let’s fight FUD with facts…

Vulnerability Report: Mozilla Firefox 3.5.x
Unpatched: 0

Vulnerability Report: Google Chrome 3.x
Unpatched: 0

Vulnerability Report: Opera 10.x
Unpatched: 0

Vulnerability Report: Apple Safari 4.x
Unpatched: 0

Vulnerability Report: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x
Unpatched: 24
Most Critical Unpatched: Extremely critical

Vulnerability Report: Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.x
Unpatched: 11
Most Critical Unpatched: Extremely critical

Vulnerability Report: Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.x
Unpatched: 4
Most Critical Unpatched: Extremely critical

My recommendation if you use Windows: make sure the version of IE that’s installed (because you can’t uninstall it!) is the latest/least vulnerable (IE8) and then install at least one of the non-IE browsers listed (personally I always recommend Firefox :) and then use THAT. Of course, you could always switch to a Mac or Linux…

Microsoft patches IE, admits it knew of bug last August

As Microsoft patched the Internet Explorer (IE) vulnerability that was used to break into Google’s network, it also acknowledged that it had known of the bug since August 2009, when an Israeli security company reported the flaw.

MS knew of Aurora exploit four months before Google attacks

Microsoft first knew of the bug used in the infamous Operation Aurora IE exploits as long ago as August, four months before the vulnerability was used in exploits against Google and other hi-tech firms in December, it has emerged.

Redmond’s security gnomes finally got around to patching the exploit on Thursday. the hack attacks against Google et al targeted IE 6, a browser first released in 2001. Exploits involved tricking users of vulnerable browsers into visiting booby-trapped websites. These sites downloaded the Hydraq backdoor Trojan and other malicious components onto compromised PCs.

[...]

A quick search of Secunia’s database, via its PSI patching tool, reveals a problem with an unpatched ActiveX control that looks just as bad, for example.

Emergency IE patch goes live as exploits proliferate

Microsoft released an emergency security update for all versions of Internet Explorer on Thursday as attacks exploiting a critical vulnerability in the widely used browser spread to hundreds of websites.

[...]

While some of the sites hosting the attacks were free services that had been co-opted, others appeared to be domains of legitimate companies that had been compromised.

[...]

In an admission that’s sure to spark criticism, Microsoft said it learned of the critical bug more than three months ago.

[...]

The unscheduled bulletin fixes a memory corruption flaw in most versions of the widely used browser that allows attackers to execute malicious code simply by luring victims to a booby-trapped website. It fixes seven other privately reported vulnerabilities, some of which also made remote code execution possible, that Microsoft had been planning to issue next month during its next regularly scheduled patch release.

[...]

Systems compromised by the sites reported by Symantec were infected with a backdoor that collected registry settings and other system information and sent it to an email address that was under the control of attackers. That email address has since been disabled, Talbot said.

Widespread Attacks Exploit Newly Patched IE Bug

The first widespread attack to leverage a recently patched flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser has surfaced.

Starting late Wednesday, researchers at antivirus vendor Symantec’s Security Response group began spotting dozens of Web sites that contain the Internet Explorer attack, which works reliably on the IE 6 browser, running on Windows XP. The attack installs a Trojan horse program that is able to bypass some security products and then give hackers access to the system, said Joshua Talbot, a security intelligence manager with Symantec.

Once it has infected a PC, the Trojan sends a notification e-mail to the attackers, using a U.S.-based, free e-mail service that Symantec declined to name.

Make the right browser update: Firefox 3.6

Neolithic Windows security hole alive and well in Windows 7

One of the reasons I’ve never liked Windows is that it was never made to deal with the security problems of working in a networked, multi-user world. As a direct result, Windows has been fundamentally insecure for more than a decade. Even so, I was surprised to find that there’s a 17-year old security hole that’s been in Windows since NT and it’s still present today in Windows 7.

Wow. Even I’m shocked by this latest example of just how rotten Windows security is. It just reminds me again though that while Microsoft keeps adding features and attempting to patch its way out of security problems to Windows, Windows’ foundation is built on sand and not on the stone of good, solid design.

[...]

Be that as it may, the code’s still in there. An attacker can trigger the vulnerability through a variety of means. The end-result is, surprise, another Windows machine that’s totally owned by the attacker. Once in charge, they can vacuum down your files, install malware, and all the other usual tricks.

Vista 7 was never secure to begin with. See the examples below.

  1. Cybercrime Rises and Vista 7 is Already Open to Hijackers
  2. Vista 7: Broken Apart Before Arrival
  3. Department of Homeland Security ‘Poisoned’ by Microsoft; Vista 7 is Open to Hijackers Again
  4. Vista 7 Security “Cannot be Fixed. It’s a Design Problem.”
  5. Why Vista 7 Could be the Least Secure Operating System Ever
  6. Journalists Suggest Banning Windows, Maybe Suing Microsoft Over DDoS Attacks
  7. Vista 7 Vulnerable to Latest “Critical” Flaws
  8. Vista 7 Seemingly Affected by Several More “Critical” Flaws This Month
  9. Reason #1 to Avoid Vista 7: Insecurity
  10. Vista 7 Left Hijackable Again (Almost a Monthly Recurrence)
Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    January 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by schestowitz: Critical Internet Explorer Flaw Known and Ignored for 4 Months http://boycottnovell.com/2010/01/22/refusing-to-fix-ie-flaws/

What Else is New


  1. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  2. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  3. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  4. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  5. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  6. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  7. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  8. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  9. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  10. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  11. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  12. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  13. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  14. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness



  15. Bill Gates' God Complex: Common Core a One-Man Campaign of Greed and Control

    The push for Common Core is overwhelmingly dominated by Bill Gates, who intimidates and even resorts to retribution against critics while bribing those who help him accomplish the goal of privatised (for his private profit) indoctrination in US schools



  16. Bill Gates Investments Harm the World, Not Improve the World, Based on New Exclusive Piece of Investigative Journalism at The Nation

    The Gates Foundation's profiteering efforts and lack of ethics outlined in a new report that many sites around the Web find fascinating and mostly irrefutable



  17. Links 3/9/2014: Android Gadgets, New Tails OS

    Links for the day



  18. Linus Torvalds DebConf Talk

    Torvalds' latest talk which got media attention earlier this month



  19. Microsoft Should Not be Considered Too Big to Jail

    Microsoft continues to use dumping as a strategy which revolves around starving the competition, not beating the competition



  20. Pro-Software Patents Voices Finally Acknowledge the Demise of Software Patents in the United States

    A milestone is reached as even the most zealous supporters of patents on algorithms (or computer-implemented inventions, or software patents) are admitting that the era of software patents may be over



  21. New Lies About Microsoft 'Privacy' and New FUD Against the GPL Comes From 'Former' Microsoft Staff at Black Duck

    More AstroTurfing by sites that are run by Microsoft MVPs and firms which were created by people from Microsoft



  22. Links 2/9/2014: GNU/Linux in BBC, Calls Against systemd

    Links for the day



  23. Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    Links for the day



  24. Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

    Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)



  25. Korean Press Slams Microsoft Over Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android as New Abuses Resurface

    Harsh words from the national press of South Korea as Nokia's role in Microsoft's anti-Linux tactics becomes more apparent



  26. More Good News About Patents and Their Demise in the United States

    A roundup of news about software patents and patent trolls in the land where these thrive



  27. Links 31/8/2014: Linux 3.12.27, Akademy 2014

    Links for the day



  28. Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

    Links for the day



  29. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  30. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts