Feeds

Weenie jibe in FrontPage leaves MS web servers wide open

Unauthorised, employee-written back doors - whatever will they think of next?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Web servers running Microsoft Internet Information Server with FrontPage 98 extensions have a built-in back door, thanks to some code with abusive comments about Netscape that was inserted in the software by a Microsoft coder. Microsoft has acknowledged that the code can act as a back door password, making it a lot easier for hackers to gain unauthorised access. The code, in dvwssr.dll, is commented "Netscape engineers are weenies!" But considering the consequences of its discovery, that probably makes Microsoft engineers suicidal bozos. According to a story in today's Wall Street Journal, Microsoft acknowledges the existence of the hole and intends to issue an email bulletin and security alert, but at time of writing the company appeared not to have done so. It seems to be possible to fix the hole by simply deleting dvwssr.dll, but the delay in publishing the alert perhaps suggests that the code isn't entirely pointless. If it turns out to be, maybe Microsoft could publish us a list of any other useless DLLs it ships... Microsoft does, however, seem to be taking the issue seriously, and views the unauthorised insertion of the code as a sacking offence. But the fact that the offence was committed in the first place will raise further questions about the security of Microsoft's Web offerings, and make it even more difficult for the company to get sites to use them. You wait hours for a massive PR own-goal, then two come along on the same day... According to the WSJ, the hole was identified by security consultant 'Rain Forest Puppy' who was tipped off about it by a European employee of e-commerce software outfit ClientLogic Corp. Mr Puppy, who's been prominent in the exposure of previous IIS security problems, has emailed Microsoft warning that the hole could "improve a hacker's experience". The problem isn't there in Win2k servers with FrontPage 2000 extensions, so an upgrade might be a good idea. But not necessarily to Win2k. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.