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

09.21.10

Bad September for Microsoft Security, Symantec Buyout Rumours

Posted in Microsoft, Rumour, Security, Windows at 3:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

buying a book

Summary: As loads of security problems occupy the world of Windows, Microsoft resorts to seeking help from security firms it competes with and more botnets thrive nonetheless

Microsoft is having a tough month dealing with many security problems caused by its own weaknesses. This post is a quick accumulation of some issues from the past 2 weeks.

Viruses

Earlier in the month we wrote about the ‘Here You Have’ virus, which got a lot of news coverage [1, 2, 3]. It was politically motivated:

THE HACKER claiming credit for the ‘Here you have’ Trojan, written as a blow against the invasion and occupation of Iraq, might be located in Spain.

Cisco says that this virus caused brief havoc. It affects everyone to a certain extent.

Stuxnet

Stuxnet is real bummer which we covered in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. “Holes used by the Stuxnet worm remain in Windows XP,” said this recent report (there are more) and it is exploiting zero-day flaws. Microsoft liaises with Kaspersky in hopes of tackling this problem. Eventually some patches arrived [1, 2, 3, 4] but only after a lot of damage had been done. It turns out that Symantec — not just Kaspersky — helped Microsoft here:

Microsoft has credited security partners at Kaspersky Lab and Symantec for helping to close a critical Windows vulnerability that was being exploited by a sophisticated worm that has attacked industrial plant

Symantec

Earlier this month Symantec created a tie-up with Microsoft’s Fog Computing [1, 2]. Then came speculations that Microsoft was looking to buy Symantec. It was just a rumour (likely false), but investors took it seriously and Symantec surged [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. The stock being driven up like this may always lead to suspicion that someone spread the rumour just to make money in a short-term period. That’s illegal of course and the SEC should keep an eye open.

Speaking of acquisitions by Microsoft, “PopCap Rejected $5 Million Microsoft Buyout” says this one report among many more [1, 2,
3]. This one says that “Microsoft tried to convince PopCap it was only worth $5 million, but the studio didn’t believe it.” To quote another item, ‘During an interview with Develop, Jason Kapalka, creative director at PopCap, explained how even Microsoft tried to buy them, but the offer price was a joke: “We had a couple of funny instances in the early years of PopCap where we were talking to Microsoft about a possible acquisition – I think it was in 2002 – and they sat us down and gave us this long speech about why our company was worth 5 million dollars, at a time when we had four million in the bank.”‘

Fakes

Back to insecurity, an older rogue antivirus attack gave trouble to Windows users this month [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It’s a form of malware. In an operating system where antivirus software is not necessary, this would hardly be an issue.

ASP.NET

Microsoft is acknowledging that there is a security problem with ASP.NET, as mentioned here last week.

Microsoft has released a security advisory about a vulnerability affecting Web applications built on ASP.NET.

Here is another article about it.

It’s already being exploited, based on today’s reports:

Attackers have begun exploiting a recently disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft web-development applications that opens password files and other sensitive data to interception and tampering.

The vulnerability in the way ASP.Net apps encrypt data was disclosed last week at the Ekoparty Conference in Argentina. Microsoft on Friday issued a temporary fix for the so-called “cryptographic padding attack,” which allows attackers to decrypt protected files by sending vulnerable systems large numbers of corrupted requests.

Now, Microsoft security pros say they are seeing “limited attacks” in the wild and warned that they can be used to read and tamper with a system’s most sensitive configuration files.

Malware

There are many new stories about malware, such as:

i. Report: More Than 1 Million Web Sites Serving Malware in Q2 [via]

Web anti malware firm Dasient has published data claiming that more than 1 million Web sites were compromised in the second quarter, 2010 – a sharp increase.

More than one million Web domains were infected with malicious code in the second quarter of 2010 – around one percent of all active Web domains, according to data released by Web security firm Dasient, Inc.

ii. Pirate Bay beset by tainted ads

The tainted ads exposed visiting surfers to Windows Trojans via drive-by download attacks. Pirate Bay has experienced similar problems in the past, and it’s unclear how long it will take to clear up the latest issues.

iii. Study: 33% of SMBs Have Been Infected With Malware From Social Networks

About one-third of small and medium-sized businesses have been infected with malware from social networks like Facebook and Twitter, according to a recent study released by Panda Security, a company specializing in cloud security.

iv. Windows malware dwarfs other viral threats

The vast majority of malware – more than 99 per cent – targets Windows PCs, according to a new survey by German anti-virus firm G-Data.

G-Data reckons 99.4 per cent of all new malware of the first half of 2010 targeted Microsoft’s operating system. Just 0.6 per cent of the 1,017,208 new malware programs discovered in 1H2010 targeted other systems, such as Apple Mac boxes and servers running Unix.

Botnet

When one in two Windows computers is said to be a zombie PC, there is clearly a problem, especially when it goes on for years, still unresolved. Some of the latest Windows botnets stories are:

i. A botnet for hire springs up

Insecurity outfit Damballa revealed that the creatively named IMDDOS (I’m DDoS) botnet can be hired out as “pressure test software” by those who are willing to cough up some cash and download an application. The application is little more than dialogue box allowing the user to point the botnet to a particular IP address and port number and start hitting it with spurious requests.

ii. Microsoft Helps Cox Identify Infected Computers

iii. Microsoft gets legal might to target spamming botnets

iv. Microsoft gets superweapon for fighting botnets

Internet Explorer 8

The very latest version of Internet Explorer is still not so widely adopted because of Microsoft’s hostility towards the Web which it still cannot reverse. Here is the latest vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8 [1, 2].

Late last week, a security flaw in Internet Explorer 8 was publicly disclosed to the Full Disclosure mailing list. The flaw allows attackers to steal private information from online services such as web mail and Twitter, allowing attackers to, for example, delete e-mails or send tweets from their victims’ accounts.

Exchange

“Microsoft Exchange opens the door for hackers,” says The Inquirer.

FIRMS RUNNING Microsoft’s Exchange mail server could find that users of its Outlook Web Access (OWA) software have their sessions hijacked.

A security vulnerability in Exchange Server 2003 SP2 and Exchange Server 2007 SP1 and SP2 means that attackers can take control of a user’s OWA session and issue commands up to the level permitted by security controls without the user knowing. OWA is a rich ‘web mail’ client that is offered by Exchange Server and has the look and feel of Microsoft’s standalone Outlook software.

According to this, a well-selling Linux phone (not Ballnux) suffers from its reliance on Exchange.

There are rumors that the possible technical problem with the Microsoft Exchange is causing the delay of Android 2.2 Froyo push to Motorola Droid X devices. Multiple news outlets including Droid Life has confirmed the news.

Who needs Exchange anyway? It’s just a brand. Android can do better than that and also avert the security problems.

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  2. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  3. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  4. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  5. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  6. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  7. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  8. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  9. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  10. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  11. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  12. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  13. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  14. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  15. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  16. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  17. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  18. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  19. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  20. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  21. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products



  22. Investigation Reveals That USPTO is Corrupt, Time to Abolish It or Annul Nearly a Million Patents

    Corruption is found at the heart of the USPTO and the USPTO works hard to hide it, despite attempt by whistleblowers to bring this corruption to light



  23. Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

    Links for the day



  24. Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

    Links for the day



  25. Bill Gates is Profiting By Diverting Public Money to His Own Pocket and Reducing Wages

    Gates' lobbying for companies he is an investor of and for lower salaries inside companies he is investing in (and managing) comes as no surprise



  26. Microsoft is Still Attacking Open Standards, So Khronos Does Not Need the Microsoft Moles

    Having attacked the industry's document standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) while pretending to have 'embraced' ODF Microsoft is now pretending that it is eager to support OpenGL



  27. Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

    A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens' interests



  28. Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/8/2014: Knoppix 7.4.0, GNU Linux Libre 3.16

    Links for the day



  30. Links 8/8/2014: Qt a Separate Company Again, KDE Frameworks 5.1 Released

    Links for the day


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