Web Hacking Exposed

The authors will periodically post Microsoft security items of note on this page (older items are in the Archive).


02/27/08 - How Safe Are Your Private Pictures on the Net?
Co-author Joel Scambray interviewed on Fox News Los Angeles television about web site security at services like Flickr, TinyPic, and Photobucket, where supposedly private videos and pictures have become exposed on the Internet.


11/26/07 - Hackers will feed on Vista in 2008
As Windows Vista gains in adoption, experts expect malware authors to increasingly focus their attention on finding vulnerabilities in the operating system and altering their social engineering techniques to accommodate it.

11/26/07 - Microsoft Working to Close Web Proxy Vulnerability
Microsoft announced it is working to fix an eight-year-old flaw in Windows that lets hackers exploit a Web proxy auto-configuration protocol to take over groups of machines with a single attack.

11/21/-07 - Random Number Generator Flaw Found in Windows XP
Microsoft has confirmed that Windows XP has the same random number generator flaw that researchers recently discovered in Windows 2000. Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 do not have the flaw.

11/17/07 - Patched Microsoft DNS Bug Has Existed a Long Time
The DNS cache poisoning bug stems from a flaw that has been known to researchers for 10 years or more, according to two security firms. In related news, Security Concerns Cause Shift from Windows DNS Server to BIND 9.


08/02/06 - Vista kernel security bypass revealed at Black Hat
In her presentation entitled "Subverting Vista Kernel For Fun And Profit," rootkit researcher Joanna Rutkowska described a technique for inserting arbitrary code into the latest Vista Beta 2 kernel (x64 edition), thus effectively bypassing Vista's feature that allows only digitally signed code to be loaded into kernel. The technique involved using administrator privileges to insert a new driver into the system page file, which is then loaded dynamically into memory (thus not requiring reboot). Proposed mitigations include encrypting the page file, or disabling paging of kernel memory. Both entail drawbacks that may make them prohibitive in commercial applications. Rutkowska also presented her "Blue Pill" technique for usurping a running operating system into a virtual machine using AMD's Pacifica technology.

06/29/06 - Microsoft Security guidance updates released
Microsoft released updates to five previously released security guides, including the Security Risk Management Guide v1.2, Windows NT4.0 and Windows 98 Threat Mitigation Guide v1.1, Windows XP Security Guide v2.2, Windows Server 2003 Security Guide v2.1, and Microsoft Identity and Access Management Series v1.4.

06/28/06 - "Blue Pill" rootkit technique hides malware
Well-known malware researcher Joanna Rutkowska publicly discloses information about using the AMD64 Secure Virtual Machine (SVM)/Pacifica instruction set to submerge a running operating system under the control of a hypervisor, on-the-fly (no reboot required). She hypothesizes that this technique could be a super-stealth mechanism to hide malware. Rutkowska also alluded to a new technique for loading arbitrary code into the Vista kernel, bypassing cryptographic signing requirements.

06/12/06 - Address Space Layout Randomization to ship in Vista
Windows Vista will apparently ship with a new feature called Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) that randomizes memory locations to prevent buffer overflow exploitation. Michael Howard's blog has some implementation details, and this Wikipedia article links to some other implementations.


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