Yahoo buys ancient WSJ FrontPage ‘backdoor’ report

Based on a true story....

Yes, there is a screwy dll which makes it possible to attack MS Web servers running FrontPage extensions. And no, there isn't any bloody backdoor password scheme as the supremely venerable (just ask them) Wall Street Journal reported last April.

However, Yahoo Business News thinks it's got a real inside track into this, and yesterday posted a story claiming that Microsoft is on the verge of 'fessing up to the long-rumored backdoor.

We were highly intrigued, but thus far have been unable to confirm Yahoo's extraordinary claim. Indeed, the story has since been pulled, so we figure Yahoo hasn't been able to confirm it either.

The problem, so far as we can determine at present, is the same it's always been. The file dvwssr.dll supports the Link View feature in Visual Interdev 1.0, and contains an unchecked buffer susceptible to an overrun attack.

Systems affected are NT 4.0 Option Pack, which is the primary distribution mechanism for Internet Information Server 4.0; Personal Web Server 4.0, which ships as part of Windows 95 and 98; and Front Page 98 Server Extensions, which ships as part of Front Page 98, Microsoft says.

The easiest fix is simply to delete dvwssr.dll. You'll be unable to view links, but that's the only drawback. Win2K is not susceptible to the buffer overflow attack.

So relax; if it turns out there's any truth to this story, we'll alert you immediately. ®

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Relevant MS security bulletin
Relevant MS FAQ

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