FBI tells the public to call their ISP for help

Douglas Otis dotis at mail-abuse.org
Sat Jun 16 19:56:27 UTC 2007

On Jun 15, 2007, at 11:31 PM, Fergie wrote:
> - -- Florian Weimer <fw at deneb.enyo.de> wrote:
>> In most parts of the world, the Microsoft EULA is not enforceable.  
>> Most users don't buy their software from Microsoft, either.  It's  
>> preinstalled on their PC, and Microsoft disclaims any support.
> NOTE: This has nothing to do with ISPs.
> Also, there is somewhere in the neighborhood of > 65M MS hosts "out  
> there" that are either illegally or improperly licensed, and which  
> cannot use Microsoft Update (due to the Genuine Advantage  
> verification knobs).
> While they can download each patch individually through a series of  
> acrobatic exercises, this sorta contributes to the whole end-system  
> compromise problem.
> Again, not that this has much real bearing on the discussion, but  
> figured I toss that into the mix.

At the prior ISOS conference in Redmond, Microsoft made assurances  
even systems failing Genuine Advantage verification can enable  
automatic udpates to obtain critical updates.  One of the attendees  
remarked privately this automation works only for English versions of  
XP. : (

With vulnerabilities created by Microsoft, such as:
   - cloaking files and processes
   - cloaking shell script extensions (even when show enabled)
   - requiring scripts for basic browser functionality
   - preventing removal of their exploitable browser
   - Word
   - .Net
   - inadequate provisions for temporarily privilege escalation
   - unfortunate network defaults
   - reliance upon perimeter security
   - etc.

It seems such negligence might make Micos0ft vulnerable to class  
actions, especially from ISPs bearing the burnt of related support.   
With the FBI recommendation, another very deep pocket might be add.

The paper provided by Google should give anyone cause.

"A popular exploit we encountered takes advantage of a
  vulnerability in Microsoft’s Data Access Components that
  allows arbitrary code execution on a user’s computer [6].
  The following example illustrates the steps taken by an ad-
  versary to leverage this vulnerability into remote code exe-
  • The exploit is delivered to a user’s browser via an
  iframe on a compromised web page.
  • The iframe contains Javascript to instantiate an Ac-
  tiveX object that is not normally safe for scripting.
  • The Javascript makes an XMLHTTP request to re-
  trieve an executable.
  • Adodb.stream is used to write the executable to disk.
  • A Shell.Application is used to launch the newly written


More information about the NANOG mailing list