Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 17th Nov 2017 11:51 UTC
Microsoft

Really, quite literally, some pretty skilled Microsoft employee or contractor reverse engineered our friend EQNEDT32.EXE, located the flawed code, and corrected it by manually overwriting existing instructions with better ones (making sure to only use the space previously occupied by original instructions).

This... This is one hell of a story. The unanswered question is why, exactly, Microsoft felt the need to do this - do they no longer have access to the source code? Has it simply become impossible to set up the correct build environment?

Amazing.

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Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Don't confuse skill of engineers with priorities of managers.

There is no real question that Microsoft couldn't have done the proper fix, they just didn't want to devote the necessary resources to do so.

Also, since this was a security matter, it was probably faster and easier to patch the binary. And speed is often the second most important aspect of a security fix.

Reply Parent Score: 4

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Don't confuse skill of engineers with priorities of managers.


How many years has that program been around? It's been around before the Ribbon interface. They've had all that time to write a converter for just about any format of Office, not as any targeted security effort, but just in the course of events in making general improvements and upgrades.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

But why would they rewrite an obscure piece of software for a historical format? It works. It doesn't make economical sense to rewrite things just because.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

They don't own the source code, and probably don't want to renegotiate a new build from the 3rdparty they bought the thing from.

Reply Parent Score: 2