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. Ruling Against 'Abstract' Software Patents is Already Derailing Patent Attacks on Linux and Free Software

    Patent litigation against Android/Linux impeded by the introduction of arguments that cite the Supreme Court



  2. Links 30/7/2014: Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla

    Links for the day



  3. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  4. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  5. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  7. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  8. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  9. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  10. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  11. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  12. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  13. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  14. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  15. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  16. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  17. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  18. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  19. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  20. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  21. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  22. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  23. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  24. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  26. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  27. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  28. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  29. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft


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