Feeds

Why Unpatched got unplugged

IE vulns page 'outlived its usefulness'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

PivX Solutions has explained the rationale behind its decision to pull a Web page that documented unresolved vulnerabilities with IE.

The page (available at time of writing via Google cache)documented 31 unpatched vulnerabilities involving Internet Explorer, but was pulled last Friday.

After Microsoft released a new patch (MS03-040) which renders several IE vulns obsolete, PivX became convinced of "a sea change in Microsoft’s commitment to rid its IE browser of the vulns".

Taking "Microsoft’s recent positive actions" together with the current rise in attacks against IE into account, PIvX decided to pull the page, after deciding it was doing more harm than good.

"As the ubiquitous browser that is utilized to access the Internet, we all depend on IE too much to have crooks, social deviants, malcontents and crackers messing with our lifestyles and our livelihoods," PivX said in a statement explaining it decision.

Which, to say the least, is something of a turnaround given how critical PivX has been in the past to air Microsoft's dirty laundry.

Rob Shively, PivX chief executive, said the unpatched page has outlived its purpose, but PivX remains committed to security research.

"For our part we have not abandoned our research, in fact, we have increased it substantially with the addition of several new full time researchers. Our commitment to disclosure is as strong as ever too. However, we are committed to responsible disclosure in this instance," Shively told The Reg.

"We received quite an awakening when we first took the page down last Friday. Among the several thousand people that emailed us there was a vocal minority who were very nasty in their posts. That only strengthened my resolve. If we can keep one cracker from getting the early jump on developing an exploit to a vulnerability that we posted on ‘Unpatched’ then this new approach will be deemed a success, irrespective of what Microsoft does."

So if outstanding vulnerabilities PivX previously publicised are not fixed within (say) 90 days would it re-instigate the page or is it gone for good, we asked.

Shively told us the company is developing a tool which "should be released in a week's time" that will enable users to be protected from the vulnerabilities that we find and which are or remain unpatched.

PivX is also considering the production of a periodic newsletter to share its research with select members of the Net community.

"We are not leaving the 10,000-20,000 system admins who have come to rely on the information contained on ‘Unpatched’ in the dark," Shively added. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.