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First Time, Shame on You -- Second Time, Shame on Microsoft

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Summary: Microsoft's Restrictions Management Service is broken again and Windows XP is again left vulnerable with Microsoft unwilling to address the issue

Microsoft's Restrictions [sic] Management Service (RMS) is broken yet again, proving -- as always -- that Microsoft cannot handle encryption properly because it is not reusing good code like Free software typically does. From The H we learn that:

An implementation flaw allows attackers to bypass the encryption mechanism used for Microsoft Office documents. Although this isn't news, having been made public in 2005, no (officially acknowledged) attack or tool for exploiting the vulnerability has existed until now. Which probably explains why Microsoft has never fixed the problem with an update for older versions of Office.

French crypto expert Eric Filiol in his presentationPDF at the recent Black Hat security conference emphasised that the situation has now changed. He says his tool can decrypt a document within a few minutes. Filiol said he began working on the statistical analysis of the RC4 algorithm used in Office back in 1994. Talking to heise Security, the expert explained why he has only now published his results: "I was employed by the French military at the time. Everything I did was classified. Now I am free speak about it."


In other news, Microsoft is seemingly blaming users for flaws in Windows that enabled rootkits to be installed. More curiously, "Microsoft refuses to patch infected Windows XP machines," according to PC Pro. [via]

Microsoft has revealed that its latest round of patches won't install on XP machines if they're infected with a rootkit.

Back in February, a security patch left some XP users complaining of endless reboots and Blue Screens of Death. An investigation followed and Microsoft discovered the problems occurred on machines infected with the Alureon rootkit, which interacted badly with patch KB977165 for the Windows kernel.


This would not be the first time that Microsoft leaves XP permanently unpatched, even by choice. Such utter negligence [1, 2, 3] can lead to loads of zombie PCs that everyone -- not just Windows users -- will suffer from and pay for. So where is the liability? Microsoft insists that the public should pay the price for Microsoft's negligence [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and some people are currently paying the price in the form of blackmail. [via]

PCs using file-share sites and publishes the user's net history on a public website before demanding a fee for its removal.

The Japanese trojan virus installs itself on computers using a popular file-share service called Winni, used by up to 200m people.


Suffice to say, this "Japanese trojan virus" would not install itself on anything other than Windows, but the article above is from the MSBBC [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and thus it addresses toddlers who equate "computers" with "Windows". it's like stating that cars in general -- not just Toyota cars [1, 2] -- have a fatal flaw.

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