Feeds

MS blames messenger for IE security hole

Our bugs can't hurt you if you don't know they're there

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

A month ago there was a little exploit, discovered by Online Solutions, which could allow an attacker to obtain or alter IE 5.5 and 6.0 cookie data with a malicious URL. It didn't seem a terribly big deal at the time.

It became a big deal when Microsoft decided to throw a hissy fit about the fact that Online Solutions broke the news. Mind you, they didn't publish the details; they merely stated that the flaw existed before MS was ready to have this embarrassing tidbit disclosed to the wide world of Windows aficionados.

The history is interesting. Online Solutions notified MS of the bug on 1 November, and the company promised to get right on it. After a week without hearing a word, Online Solutions broke the news, and Microsoft posted a bulletin later that day in which it accused Online Solutions of being "irresponsible", and in which it whined about not having been given time to patch its bugware.

It even included a link to MS Security Manager Scott Culp's famous 'information anarchy' essay, just in case anyone failed to feel sufficiently guilt-ridden for speaking the truth.

Now the patch has finally been issued (get it here); and MS has backed down from its charge of irresponsibility.

Too little too late, perhaps. We note that in this case MS objected to the mere mention of the exploit. The subsequent retraction of bile we chalk up to mere PR concerns. We also note that the company is aggressively pursuing disclosure regulations which would help it sweep similar bugs under the carpet until it's good and ready to go public with them.

The theory is that their bugs can't hurt you if you don't know they're there.

Happy surfing. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.