Bonum Certa Men Certa

Windows Kernel Vulnerability for Thanksgiving, Insecurity Used for Surveillance Again

Oppression and proprietary software are a pair

Guard with machine gun



Summary: Another major security problem in Windows, new destinations for Stuxnet, and new excuses for tracking one's Web trails

IT IS not uncommon for Microsoft to leave systems administrators rather restless over the holidays, most typically over Christmas. Users too are left paranoid. This holiday season (US in particular) was no exception as a new Windows kernel vulnerability bypasses UAC, says Slashdot, citing Sophos:



"A new vulnerability in the Windows kernel was disclosed Wednesday that could allow malware to attain administrative privileges by bypassing User Account Control (UAC). Combined with the unpatched Internet Explorer vulnerability in the wild this could be a very bad omen for Windows users."


From the original source rather than Slashdot's summary:

A new zero-day exploit in Microsoft Windows was disclosed today. The exploit allows an application to elevate privilege to "system," and in Vista and Windows 7 also bypass User Account Control (UAC). The flaw was posted briefly on a programming education site and has since been removed.


According to another report, Stuxnet is still out there and now it is sold on the black market.

According to a report from Sky News, the Stuxnet worm has already been traded on the black market. The report does not clarify whether this refers to the source code or to binary samples. British security specialists now fear that terrorists could use the worm to attack critical infrastructure. The report quotes an IT security consultant to the UK government as claiming, "You could shut down power stations, you could shut down the transport network across the United Kingdom".


We wrote about Stuxnet many times before and it is interesting because some say it was engineered in order to spy on or to sabotage nuclear facilities in so-called 'rogue' nations. See for example:

  1. Ralph Langner Says Windows Malware Possibly Designed to Derail Iran's Nuclear Programme
  2. Windows Viruses Can be Politically Motivated Sometimes
  3. Who Needs Windows Back Doors When It's So Insecure?
  4. Windows Insecurity Becomes a Political Issue
  5. Windows, Stuxnet, and Public Stoning
  6. Stuxnet Grows Beyond Siemens-Windows Infections
  7. Has BP Already Abandoned Windows?
  8. Reports: Apple to Charge for (Security) Updates
  9. Windows Viruses Can be Politically Motivated Sometimes
  10. New Flaw in Windows Facilitates More DDOS Attacks
  11. Siemens is Bad for Industry, Partly Due to Microsoft
  12. Microsoft Security Issues in The British Press, Vista and Vista 7 No Panacea
  13. Microsoft's Negligence in Patching (Worst Amongst All Companies) to Blame for Stuxnet
  14. Microsoft Software: a Darwin Test for Incompetence
  15. Bad September for Microsoft Security, Symantec Buyout Rumours
  16. Microsoft Claims Credit for Failing in Security
  17. Many Windows Servers Being Abandoned; Minnesota Goes the Opposite Direction by Giving Microsoft Its Data
  18. Windows Users Still Under Attack From Stuxnet, Halo, and Zeus
  19. Security Propaganda From Microsoft: Villains Become Heroes
  20. Security Problems in iOS and Windows
  21. Eye on Security: BBC Propaganda, Rootkits, and Stuxnet in Iran's Nuclear Facilities
  22. Eye on Security: ClamAV Says Windows is a Virus, Microsoft Compromises Mac OS X, and Stuxnet Runs Wild


A few days ago we mentioned MSBBC articles which clearly neglected to mention Windows in stories that were about Windows-exclusive problems.

"ANOTHER Windows only story from the #BBC not mentioning Windows," wrote Gordon, "they send people to jail for not paying for this s**t," he added" (the MSBBC is funded by British taxpayers).

Gordon is right because Windows malware is the central issue discussed in the article (although it avoids mentioning Microsoft or Windows). For example:

He was caught installing password-capturing software by computer staff examining network problems.


This is a form of surveillance by a criminal. But we previously explained how surveillance uses security as a pretext (sometimes targeted marketing is the preferred excuse) and this includes security problems in software. On that issue, Gordon shares another MSBBC article . It talks about "virus alert system" (not mentioning Windows of course) and Gordon says one "gotta love the ISPs who spy on their customers connections #TalkTalk... this excuse is "malware protection" [still Windows of course]":

Talk Talk is launching trials of a controversial anti-malware system following intervention by the Information Commissioner (ICO).

The Virus Alert system keeps an eye on the websites customers visit to stop them accidentally going to places riddled with viruses.


More here in The Inquirer:

BROADBAND PROVIDER Talk Talk has announced it will continue rolling out a traffic monitoring system that it claims will protect its customers.

The opt-in Virus Alerts Service (VAS) was recently likened to the now banned traffic snuffling operation Phorm by the UK Information Commissioner's Office. It claims to track URLs visited by Talk Talk customers and warn them if a website harbours malware.


The problem here is proprietary software and also this illusion of needing government help (with Phorm that's harboured by it) to simply navigate through some Web pages.

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Meme] The Heart of Staff Rep
Rowan heartily grateful
 
Sven Luther, Lucy Wayland & Debian's toxic culture
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Coroner's Report: Lucy Wayland & Debian Abuse Culture
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Links 18/04/2024: Misuse of COVID Stimulus Money, Governments Buying Your Data
Links for the day
Gemini Links 18/04/2024: GemText Pain and Web 1.0
Links for the day
Gemini Links 18/04/2024: Google Layoffs Again, ByteDance Scandals Return
Links for the day
Gemini Links 18/04/2024: Trying OpenBSD and War on Links Continues
Links for the day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 17, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
North America, Home of Microsoft and of Windows, is Moving to GNU/Linux
Can it top 5% by year's end?
Management-Friendly Staff Representatives at the EPO Voted Out (or Simply Did Not Run Anymore)
The good news is that they're no longer in a position of authority
Microsofters in 'Linux Foundation' Clothing Continue to Shift Security Scrutiny to 'Linux'
Pay closer attention to the latest Microsoft breach and security catastrophes
Links 17/04/2024: Free-Market Policies Wane, China Marks Economic Recovery
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/04/2024: "Failure Is An Option", Profectus Alpha 0.5 From a Microsofter Trying to Dethrone Gemini
Links for the day
How does unpaid Debian work impact our families?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Microsoft's Windows Falls to All-Time Low and Layoffs Reported by Managers in the Windows Division
One manager probably broke an NDA or two when he spoke about it in social control media
When you give money to Debian, where does it go?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
How do teams work in Debian?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Joint Authors & Debian Family Legitimate Interests
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Bad faith: Debian logo and theme use authorized
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 17/04/2024: TikTok Killing Youth, More Layoff Rounds
Links for the day
Jack Wallen Has Been Assigned by ZDNet to Write Fake (Sponsored) 'Reviews'
Wallen is selling out. Shilling for the corporations, not the community.
Links 17/04/2024: SAP, Kwalee, and Take-Two Layoffs
Links for the day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 16, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Inclusion of Dissent and Diversity of Views (Opinions, Interpretations, Scenarios)
Stand for freedom of expression as much as you insist on software freedom
Examining Code of Conduct violations
Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship
Ruben Schade's Story Shows the Toxicity of Social Control Media, Not GNU/Linux
The issue here is Social Control Media [sic], which unlike the media rewards people for brigading otherwise OK or reasonable people
Upgrading IRCd
We use the latest Debian BTW
The Free Software Community is Under Attack (Waged Mostly by Lawyers, Not Developers)
Licensing and legalese may seem "boring" or "complicated" (depending on where one stands w.r.t. development), but it matters a great deal
Jonathan Cohen, Charles Fussell & Debian embezzlement
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Grasping at Straws in IBM (Red Hat Layoff Rumours in 2024)
researching rumours around Red Hat layoffs
GNU/Linux Continues to Get More Prevalent Worldwide (Also on the Desktop)
Desktops (or laptops) aren't everything, but...
Who is a real Debian Developer?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 16/04/2024: Many More Layoffs, Broadcom/VMware Probed (Antitrust)
Links for the day
Links 16/04/2024: Second Sunday After Easter and "Re-inventing the Wheel"
Links for the day
Upcoming Themes and Articles in Techrights
we expect to have already caught up with most of the administrivia and hopefully we'll be back to the prior pace some time later this week
Links 16/04/2024: Levente "anthraxx" Polyák as Arch Linux 2024 Leader, openSUSE Leap Micro 6 Now Alpha, Facebook Blocking News
Links for the day
Where is the copyright notice and license for Debian GNU/Linux itself?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Halász Dávid & IBM Red Hat, OSCAL, Albania dating
Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship
Apology & Correction: Daniele Scasciafratte & Mozilla, OSCAL, Albania dating
Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship
Next Week Marks a Year Since Red Hat Mass Layoffs, Another Round Would be "Consistent With Other Layoffs at IBM."
"From anon: Global D&I team has been cut in half."
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 15, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, April 15, 2024