Privacy, Security Archive

Microsoft Slammed for Palladium ‘Lies’

Critics have slated a Microsoft document on its upcoming Palladium digital rights software as containing several outright "lies". The 1,500-word frequently asked questions (FAQs) paper gives some details about how Palladium will work and how it relates to digital rights management and the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance. Read the rest at VNUnet. Update: Another article about Palladium, here.

Security Expert Gives OSes Poor Security Grade

Is open source software more secure? To most Linux enthusiasts, the answer is obvious: open source means more people can look for bugs and a faster dissemination of bug fixes. Obviously, yes. But noted security expert Gene Spafford says that this may not necessarily be true. According to the Purdue professor of computer science and co-author of Practical Unix & Internet Security, good security begins with good design and neither Windows nor Linux have much to brag about in that category.

Is Linux Really More Secure Than Windows?

Ramen, Slapper, Scalper and Mighty may sound like Santa's new team of reindeer, but they are creatures far lower down the evolutionary ladder -- and much less welcome. These are worms that have infiltrated Linux servers in recent months, commandeering the servers for use in distributed denial-of-service attacks. Linux enthusiasts who once believed they were less vulnerable to attack than Microsoft users have begun to wonder whether they were overly optimistic. Read the article at NewsFactor.

Intel Reveals Share Denial PC Scheme

"Intel is to embed certificates into the processor. Embedded certificates will be a feature of Banias processors next year. What are the downsides? You can count them. The business of ownership of a device suddenly becomes very important indeed - your PC is tagged at birth, and your choice of operating system or browser is contingent on the generosity of the certification authority." Read the report at TheRegister.

Exploiting Design Flaws in the Win32 API for Privilege Escalation

"This paper presents a new generation of attacks against Microsoft Windows, and possibly other message-based windowing systems. The flaws presented in this paper are, at the time of writing, unfixable. The only reliable solution to these attacks requires functionality that is not present in Windows, as well as efforts on the part of every single Windows software vendor." Read the paper over at In the meantime, another flaw affects Windows 2000, Linux and MacOSX.

Microsoft’s Palladium: Security, but for Whom?

ExtremeTech features a series of articles regarding Microsoft's new security chip, codenamed Palladium. It seems that Intel, AMD and even National are part of this plan, while it is not clear if alternative operating systems will be given specs for this technology. Even if these OSes will choose to not use the chip, Microsoft is quite likely to advertise the "feature" as a Good Thing (TM) for the users (which may or may not be true), making the other OSes to sound unsecure.

At Microsoft, Security Trumps App Compatibility

"In a sea change of philosophy, Microsoft Corp. is working to put security ahead of not just features and functionality, but also legacy application compatibility. In a meeting with eWEEK last week, several Microsoft executives responsible for security software development said the company is also changing the way it ships some products to make them safer and will begin developing its own line of security software." Read the rest of the report at ExtremeTech. In related news, a pair of Office XP bugs were uncovered while more security updates can be found here.

Microsoft: .Net Security Fears ‘Unfounded’

"Microsoft Corp. is going on the offensive to restore confidence in its .Net platform after a security consulting firm claimed it had found a critical flaw in a new compiler Microsoft released earlier this week. In an unusual move, a member of the team that developed the product in question--the Visual C++.Net compiler--posted a lengthy message to the Bugtraq security mailing list excoriating Cigital Inc. for making what Microsoft deems to be false claims in its press release and inciting unnecessary concerns about the security of .Net applications built with the compiler. Brandon Bray, a member of the product's development team said: 'The allegation that applications compiled with Visual C++'s /GS switch somehow expose themselves to more attacks is unfounded and patently false.'" Read the rest of the story at ExtremeTech.