Bonum Certa Men Certa

If Microsoft Cannot be Sued Over Liability, Can it be Sued for Negligence?

"Our products just aren't engineered for security."

--Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive



Summary: Microsoft's inability (or unwillingness) to protect customers from severe flaws raises important questions regarding negligence

AS WE stressed last year, Microsoft publicly addresses flaws it is aware of only/usually when attacks begin. Otherwise, Microsoft lies about security. It tells what shareholders want to hear. So although the test of liability may not pass legal muster, negligence does. Should Microsoft be sued as some journalists have already suggested?



The latest serious exploit that affects Vista 7 (there are more examples appended at the bottom of this post) is so valuable for showing how Microsoft ignores security problems and improperly handles them until it's too late. SJVN argues:

I do wonder sometimes about Microsoft's quality assurance. No, I tell a lie. I always wonder about Microsoft's quality assurance. As in, "How can they keep making mistakes like this?" In the latest, a new SMB vulnerability has been found and exploited that can lock-up any Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 system.

As reported in ComputerWorld, Laurent Gaffie posted details of the vulnerabilities, along with proof-of-concept exploit code, to the Full Disclosure security mailing list today, as well as to his personal blog. Gaffie claimed that his exploit crashes the kernel in Windows 7 and its server sibling, Windows Server 2008 R2, triggering an infinite loop. Or, as he puts in so well in the exploit's code: "'Most Secure Os Ever' --> Remote Kernel in 2 mn. #FAIL,#FAIL,#FAIL"

[...]

Oh, and Microsoft, hurry up and fix this. OK? This is embarrassingly bad.


This is not just "embarrassingly bad", it is practically very bad because exploit code is already out there while Microsoft is still "investigating".

Microsoft has reportedly begun investigating a potentially nasty denial of service vulnerability affecting Windows 7.


Microsoft has been caught hiding vulnerabilities and their fixes (secret fixes which invisibility of proprietary software enables), probably for raves about numbers, i.e. illusion of safety. How long has Microsoft known about this for and why is there no patch yet?

On Vista 7 insecurity:



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