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

12.27.10

Microsoft Cannot Offer Security on the Web, Either

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 1:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Predator

Summary: Vultures keep circling not just Microsoft Windows but just about anything from the company, which failed to comprehend security

THERE are companies that increasingly decide to rely on online services, which they sometimes refer to as ‘the cloud’. There is a false assumption about security though. First of all, if one accesses these services from a Windows-running PC, one is not secure. In China, for example, hackers can access Windows source code, which was never written to be inspected in this way (and many security experts have not had the time to find errors in it prior to release). On the server side too Microsoft is failing based on the latest news:

1. Microsoft BPOS configuration screw up causes data disclosure

Customers of Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite—a cloud-based suite including Exchange, SharePoint, LiveMeeting, and Office Communicator—may have had certain data leaked after a configuration error left their contact information exposed.

The configuration problem left information in customers’ Offline Address Books exposed to other customers. The Offline Address Book is an Exchange feature that allows Outlook users to download a copy of all the e-mail addresses and mailing list aliases that an organization uses, so that they can be used even when disconnected from Exchange. It’s e-mail addresses on those lists that could have been made available.

2. Microsoft BPOS cloud service hit with data breach

Company data belonging to customers of Microsoft’s hosted business suite BPOS has been accessed and downloaded by other users of the software.

The issue affected the Offline Address Book of customers of the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) Standard suite.

Microsoft confirmed the data breach to Webwereld, a Dutch IDG publication.

This is far from being the first BPOS cockup [1, 2, 3] and putting that together with the botnet problem on the client side, there’s no reason to choose Microsoft over GNU/Linux with Google as host, for example. The European politicians recently began talking about Windows botnets, bringing up problems like Conficker and Stuxnet: [via Glyn Moody]

Inside the EU, damages from this botnet were reported in France, the UK and Germany. French fighter planes were unable to take off after military computers were infected by Conficker in January 2009. The German army reported in February 2009 that parts of its computer network were infected by Conficker, making the websites of the German army, and the Defence ministry unreachable and preventing them from being updated by their administrators. Certain IT services, including e-mails, were unavailable for weeks to the UK Ministry of Defence personnel in January/February 2009 after they were infected by the Conficker botnet.

In the last few days experts at international level have launched an alert for a new type of malicious computer warm called Stuxnet that is infecting a high number of power plants, pipelines and factories and could be used to control plant operations remotely. If confirmed, this would be the first case of a highly sophisticated botnet aimed at industrial targets, a development experts don’t hesitate to define ”the first directed cyber weapon”. Botnets like Stuxnet could give wrong information and orders to industrial plants and operate sabotage at several levels, causing severe damages.

Incidentally, there’s advice from Wayne Borean (“My Christmas gift to Windows Users” he calls it) which goes under the heading “Computer Security Suggestions For Microsoft Windows Users” and moving away from Windows is high up on the list. For those who don’t know yet, for Windows administrators it may have been a tough holiday, as usual (this happens every year at this time) because “Microsoft confirm[ed] critical un-patched Internet Explorer CSS vulnerability” just before Christmas:

The flaw could allow malicious users to run unauthorised code remotely inside the iexplore.exe process. Proof-of-concept code is currently available that exploits the vulnerability. The code bypasses ASLR and DEP security protections in Windows. Security firm Vupen warned of the vulnerability earlier this month.

Here is more about the zero-day exploit: [via]

A remote code execution vulnerability against Internet Explorer was announced recently, and a proof-of-concept exploit has already been added to the Metasploit products.

And finally, consider the following batch of news:

i. Malware Posing as Fake Desktop Utilities Instead of Phony Antivirus

Recently, researchers at GFI Software have noticed an increase in the number of fake security software scams purporting to be disk utilities that fix disk errors. Instead of listing Trojans, these security alerts pretend to find disk fragmentation or file system integrity problems.

ii. Bummed-out users give anti-virus bloatware the boot

One in four users turned off their anti-virus protection in response to performance problems after they installed security software, according to a survey by security software firm Avira.

The poll of users of the German anti-virus outfit, which like AVG and Avast offers free security software to consumers, also found that more than three in five (62.8 per cent) users had tried multiple anti-virus products over the last year.

The problem is not just Windows; it’s Microsoft products in general.

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 25/4/2017: Kali Linux 2017.1 Released, NSA Back Doors in Windows Cause Chaos

    Links for the day



  2. Astoundingly, IP Kat Has Become a Leading Source of UPC and Battistelli Propaganda

    The pro-UPC outlets, which enjoy EPO budget (i.e. stakeholders' money), are becoming mere amplifiers of Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand UPC woman Margot Fröhlinger, irrespective of actual facts



  3. EPO Fiasco to be Discussed in German Local Authority (Bavarian Parliament) Some Time Today as the Institution Continues Its Avoidable Collapse

    Conflict between management and staff -- a result of truly destructive strategies and violations of the law by Benoît Battistelli -- continues to escalate and threatens to altogether dismantle the European Patent Office (EPO)



  4. In the US and Elsewhere, Qualcomm's Software Patents Are a Significant Tax Everyone Must Pay

    The state of the mobile market when companies such as Qualcomm, which don't really produce anything, take a large piece of the revenue pie



  5. In South Asia, Old Myths to Promote Patent Maximalism, Courtesy of the Patent Microcosm

    The latest example of software patents advocacy and patent 'parades' in India, as well as something from IPOS in Singapore



  6. Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

    Links for the day



  7. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards



  8. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays



  9. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions



  10. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation



  11. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  13. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  14. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  15. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  16. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  17. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  18. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)



  19. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International



  20. Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects

    The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC



  21. EPO in 2017: Erroneously Grant a Lot of Patents in Bulk or Get Sacked

    Quality of patent examination is being abandoned at the EPO and those who disobey or refuse to play along are being fired (or asked to resign to avoid forced resignations which would stain their record)



  22. Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  23. Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management's Agenda

    An eclectic response to some of the misleading if not villainous responses to the UPC's death knell in the UK, as well as other noteworthy observations about think tanks and misinformation whose purpose is to warp the patent system so that it serves law firms, for the most part at the expense of science and technology



  24. Links 20/4/2017: Tor Browser 6.5.2, PacketFence 7.0, New Firefox and Chrome

    Links for the day



  25. Patents on Business Methods and Software Are Collapsing, But the Patent Microcosm is Working Hard to Change That

    The never-ending battle over patent law, where those who are in the business of patents push for endless patenting, is still ongoing and resistance/opposition is needed from those who actually produce things (other than litigation) or else they will be perpetually taxed by parasites



  26. IAM, the Patent Trolls' Voice, is Trying to Deny There is a Growing Trolling Problem in Europe

    IAM Media (the EPO's and trolls' mouthpiece) continues a rather disturbing pattern of propaganda dressed up as "news", promoting the agenda of parasites who drain the economy by extortion of legitimate (producing) companies



  27. The Patent Microcosm Keeps Attacking Every Patent Office/System That is Doing the Right Thing

    Patent 'radicals' and 'extremists' -- those to whom patents are needed solely for the purpose of profit from bureaucracy -- fight hard against patent quality and in the process they harm everyone, including individual customers



  28. Another Final Nail in the UPC Coffin: UK General Election

    Ratification of the UPC in the UK can drag on for several more years and never be done thereafter, throwing into uncertainty the whole UPC (EU-wide) as we know it



  29. Links 19/4/2017: DockerCon Coverage, Ubuntu Switching to Wayland

    Links for the day



  30. Links 18/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.4, FFmpeg 3.3

    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