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Relic of the browser wars, staffer claims

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Mobile application security vulnerability report

A mole working at Microsoft in Redmond has described in detail the process that culminated in a FrontPage security bug that unfolded its wings and started occupying hectares of column inches last week. The source, who asked that he not be named for fear of losing his livelihood, said that the bug, which includes language demeaning to male Netscape engineers, said that rather than it being a so-called "back door" which can be used to bring down Web servers, it is actually a security bug. He said: "The person attempting access would already have to have Author permission to the FrontPage web, and then they could only gain access to ASP (and Global.asa) pages. Plus, they would have to know the name and exact location of the file they were attempting to gain improper access to." The DLL which is at the core of the problem, DVWSSR.DLL, is old code, he added. "In fact, it is over three years old, and was written back at the height of the so-called 'Browser Wars'. "We wanted to research the issue fully and guarantee the fixes, then write a KB, which has to be reviewed and sent to Legal. That is a bloody paperwork trail. According to the KB I was proofing, there are a few fixes. "You can either delete the file from the root web and all sub-webs, upgrade to FP 2000 extensions, or upgrade to W2/IIS 5," he said. "The file's functionality is to provide Link View in, if I remember correctly, Visual Interdev 1.0. If you're willing to lose that one feature, kill the file. Else just upgrade to the new extensions. "As for us taking it seriously, Hell Yes we do! First off, it was damned stupid and bloody irresponsible. It also is a severe violation of Corporate Policy. I wouldn't be surprised if someone does lose their job over it - if they're still with Microsoft - and personally I hope they're canned". ® Related Story Weenie jibe in FrontPage leaves MS web servers wide open

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