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Greece and Belgium are the weakest links in MS Hacks

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Website security in corporate America

Two regional Microsoft Web sites have been defaced in a pair of attacks that call into question the ability of the software giant to enforce a global security policy.

Locally hosted sites in Belgium and Greece, which redirect traffic to Microsoft's corporate servers, have been sprayed with graffiti by hackers in separate attacks.

The Greek site, www.microsoft.com.gr, which redirects to the Greek part of Microsoft's corporate site. uses a Netscape-FastTrack/2.01 Web server on SCO Unix kit. The colourful defacement of the site by serial-hacker Prime Suspectz, which features a Brazilian flag and pokes fun of Microsoft's insecurity, has been mirrored on alldas.de and can be seen here.

More conventionally the Belgian site, www.microsoft.be, which was defaced by Black-Fuuuuuuuu runs Microsoft's IIS5 Web server on a Windows 2000 platform. This defacement can be seen here.

Paul Rogers, network security analyst at MIS Corporate Defence, said evidence from the defacement archives showed that the Belgian server, which is hosted by UUNet, had an open SQL Server database. The Greek site featured a host of vulnerable Unix services, he added.

The graffiti attacks were highly unlikely to have threatened Microsoft's core systems, as a hacking attack on its network last year did but they do little to improve Microsoft's reputation, particular when local partners have let it down before.

"Hosting firms are not keeping Microsoft's Web servers secure and this leaves them vulnerable to a wide variety of attacks that enable defacers to take over machines," said Rogers. "The attacks suggest Microsoft doesn't have control of the boxes needed to implement a global security policy.

"Microsoft has handed control over to a third party and trusted them to get it right. This is common practice among many firms but the trust they place on third party Web hosting firms and ISPs can sometimes be misplaced." ®

Related stories:
Microsoft hacked in the Balkans
Microsoft Web site hacked in Kiwiland
Exploit devastates WinNT/2K security
How you hack into Microsoft: a step by step guide
MS hacked! Russian Mafia swipes WinME source?

External links

Archive of Prime Suspectz's defacement which feature attacks on celebrity Web sites of Jennifer Aniston, Mel Gibson and Denzil Washington this week

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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