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 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  2. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  3. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  4. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  5. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  6. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  7. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  8. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  9. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  10. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  11. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  12. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  13. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  14. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  15. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  16. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  17. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  18. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  19. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  20. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  21. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  22. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  23. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  24. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  25. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  26. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money



  27. Links 12/5/2019: Linux 5.1.1, GDB 8.3, KStars 3.2.2 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Did Battistelli 'Steal' ~$100,000,000 Euros From the EPO?

    While enjoying diplomatic immunity the thug from CEIPI (who is back at the EPO as a jurist) passed millions if not billions (over the long run) in liabilities; this was done with total and inexcusable impunity, no effective oversight



  29. The Biased EPO Does Not Want to Hear From Anyone Except Those Who Pay the EPO

    The EPO's corruption and violations of the law are a threat to everyone in the world; the EPO only ever listens to those who pay for "access" or those who embrace the "religion" of the EPO



  30. Team UPC Has Run Out of Arguments, So Now It's Just Writing Anti-Brexit Rants With Testicles in the Headlines

    Nothing has worked for firms that crafted and lobbied hard for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); after necrophilia a new low is being reached


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

Recent Posts