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02.11.15

Microsoft Back Door in Windows (All Versions) Intentionally Left Open For Over a Year, Existed for 15 Years

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Servers at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: It has become more obvious that Windows back doors are there by design (or knowingly left there by intention) even after Snowden’s NSA leaks

THERE ARE SOME corporate media reports about Microsoft patches, but few realise the significance of it. Microsoft tells the NSA about unpatched holes in Windows and other Microsoft software, which is the equivalent of giving the NSA back door access.

As we noted some weeks ago, evidence shows that Microsoft doesn't care about security and it is evidently the same with Apple. They both sat on known flaws that were critical for longer than 3 months, refusing to patch them. Both proprietary software companies, which together command the lion’s share of laptop and desktop operating systems, simply refused to close back doors and only decided to do something at the very belated end because the public finally knew about them (Google let is be known).

“Both proprietary software companies, which together command the lion’s share of laptop and desktop operating systems, simply refused to close back doors and only decided to do something at the very belated end because the public finally knew about them (Google let is be known).”Dan Goodin, who typically spends his ‘journalism’ career bashing Free software over security, has finally decided to shift some focus and write about a massive Windows flaw. It’s a major one, no doubt; But no name, no “branding”…

In Goodin’s own words:

Microsoft just patched a 15-year-old bug that in some cases allows attackers to take complete control of PCs running all supported versions of Windows. The critical vulnerability will remain unpatched in Windows Server 2003, leaving that version wide open for the remaining five months Microsoft pledged to continue supporting it.

The flaw, which took Microsoft more than 12 months to fix, affects all users who connect to business, corporate, or government networks using the Active Directory service. The database is built into Windows and acts as a combination traffic cop and security guard, granting specific privileges to authorized users and mapping where on a local network various resources are available. The bug—which Microsoft classifies as MS15-011 and the researcher who first reported it calls Jasbug—allows attackers who are in a position to monitor traffic passing between the user and the Active Directory network to launch a man-in-the-middle exploit that executes malicious code on vulnerable machines.

The significant part is in the second paragraph above (“took Microsoft more than 12 months to fix”). We can interpret that as saying that the hole, which NSA used for over a year for back door access (because Mirosoft told the NSA about it), is finally being acknowledged to the public. Therein lies the ‘magic’ of proprietary software. Is the NSA now ‘done’ cracking all the world’s networks that have Windows in them? Is it now ‘safe’ to finally close this back door?

Microsoft Windows is an utter joke when it comes to security, as Microsoft’s own actions serve to show. Back doors surely look like the goal, not an error. Windows was recently used to crack Sony years after the NSA had cracked North Korea’s network. Those who knowingly used an operating system with back doors can’t blame anyone other than themselves and perhaps Microsoft/NSA. Misplaced blame these days typically names China, Russia, or North Korea.

Remember that Microsoft leaves security holes open/in fact anyway, no matter if versions of Windows are supported or not (upgrades are neither simple nor free). As Goodin’s former employer puts it:

What happens six months from now, on 14 July? That’s the date Microsoft issues its last security fix ever for Window Server 2003 – the end of extended support from the server operating system’s maker.

The article states that many servers will basically be left with permanent back doors. Many of them contain customers’ (or patients’) data.

As Robert Pogson put it, “Server 2003, which is due to go without support this summer won’t be fixed for a recent Patch Tuesday revelation of a vulnerability built-in by design a decade ago and impossible to fix without breaking everything…”

He concludes correctly: “Maybe it’s time people switched to GNU/Linux, an operating system not designed by salesmen. It’s not perfect but at least the bugs are fixable.”

Yes, even bugs with special names, logos, and “branding” — those that the corporate media loves to hype up.

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