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Microsoft hacked again

Known security hole gives access to download software

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Just one week after Microsoft admitted to a major breach of its security, another hacker by the name of Dimitri claims to have gained access to several of its Web servers.

Using a known security hole in M$' Internet Information Server software - which should have been fixed with its own patch - Dimitri hacked into the servers and uploaded a text file called Hack the Planet. He claims to have been able to alter files on Microsoft's download site and, if he so wished, add Trojan horses to software. The implications are obvious.

On top of this, Dimitri claimed to have possession of an encrypted file containing administrative user names and passwords. He could decode it, he said, but wouldn't. Other interesting info: Microsoft's server domain is called Houston (and now it has a problem) and all the Web servers are set up in the same way. Tut tut.

Microsoft has admitted that at least one server has been compromised and that access was gained through a known security hole. The patch hadn't been applied to the server and now it is rushing around checking all the others. However, the Redmond giant claimed, this was not an important server and was being used only to redirect traffic to more up-to-date content.

Dimitri used the Unicode bug to get access into the systems. Microsoft's first patch for the hole was produced in August and was made public last month. The failure of M$ to install its own patches was described as "extremely sloppy" by the hacker. You're not wrong there. ®

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