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Attacks Against Unpatched Microsoft Bug Multiply 122

Posted by kdawson
from the how-not-to-excel dept.
CWmike writes "Attacks exploiting the latest Microsoft vulnerability are quickly ramping up in quantity and intensity, several security companies warned today as they rang alarms about the developing threat. Symantec, Sunbelt Software, and SANS' Internet Storm Center bumped up their warnings yesterday after Microsoft announced that attackers were exploiting a bug in an ActiveX control used by IE to display Excel spreadsheets. There is no patch for the vulnerability; Microsoft didn't release one in today's Patch Tuesday. A temporary fix that sets the 'kill bits' of the ActiveX control is available, but experts believe it's likely most users won't take advantage of the protection. Symantec raised its ThreatCon ranking to the second of four steps. "We're seeing it exploited, but currently on a limited scale," said Symantec's Ben Greenbaum. Sunbelt also bumped up its ranking, to high." Firefox users can't be too complacent; Secunia is warning of a 0-day in version 3.5.
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Attacks Against Unpatched Microsoft Bug Multiply

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  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @07:07PM (#28697745)

    Why dont web hosts scan for hosted vulnerabilities? I imagine a nightly clamav scan by web hosts would make all the difference in cases like these where there is no patch yet but there is an web-based exploit. Heck, some users dont even patch, as was shown by Conficker, which was patched in October and spread like wildfire in January.

    • by koreaman (835838) <uman@umanwizard.com> on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @07:32PM (#28697969)

      You have a good point, but are you sure web sites are actually legally entitled to inspect what people are paying them to put on their servers?

      If so, probably just a case of lazy and/or clueless administrators.

      • by PitaBred (632671) <slashdotNO@SPAMpitabred.dyndns.org> on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @09:51PM (#28699007) Homepage
        Why wouldn't you be able to? Unless you signed some agreement otherwise, or are trying for common carrier status, there's no reason you can't. There's no law against not allowing unwanted advertising to appear on your property. If a Christian site didn't want porn ads, they are not required to carry them because they carry other ads.
      • by Stan Vassilev (939229) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @12:29AM (#28700101)

        You have a good point, but are you sure web sites are actually legally entitled to inspect what people are paying them to put on their servers?

        If you read the small print in the ToS you'll see they entitle themselves to doing anything they could imagine. Even if it was not in the ToS, adding it in there is trivial.

        The reason they don't do it is one of pure economy. Integrating and running antivirus programs daily on a server is not free. It slows down the server (so they can pack less sites per server), it means license/support contracts (even if the basic software is free), means the staff spending time on integrating and supporting this feature.

        At the same time, browser exploits are simply small static files that don't affect or abuse the server in question in any significant way. If they scan, it would be just to protect the site visitors, which are not a party that matters to web host providers. So, unless site owners decide they would rather take their business with a host who scans, the hosts have no interest to implement this.

        • by EvilIdler (21087) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @05:45AM (#28701325)

          How are web hosts going to handle dangerous files they find, if they start searching the users' stuff? That upload of the latest Conficker might not be malicious (user rents serverspace to host virus/trojan/worm research), the upload might be referenced in a database by the CMS (whoops, it's gone - does the user know how to fix the now-apparent bug in the CMS' filehandling?).

          How does a virus scanner even know if the file is visible to the outside world? You have .htaccess files, scripts which may or may not display the files in an index (and it doesn't have to be anywhere near the same directory) and non-Apache/IIS systems which serve up content based on Python, Java or whatever.

          Lots of issues with automated scanning/removal before you even start to consider the processing power to scan. Although that could be handled by having a reasonably beefy cluster of pure file servers which the web servers get their user directories from.

          • by MrCrassic (994046)
            That's not what he meant. He was referring to web administrators implementing server-side scanning to prevent patches from being *spread* to the users.
      • by sjames (1099)

        If so, probably just a case of lazy and/or clueless administrators.

        More likely, since web hosting has been a race to the bottom for several years now, they just aren't interested in anything that would even slightly increase the cost of providing service. At $10/month or less, it takes less than 10 minutes a month of required intervention to render an account unprofitable.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by WheelDweller (108946)

      Hey, sure. We flush-n-fill workstations, planet wide in corporate offices. Ya know, maybe we could make friends with aliens and have THEM also scan our computers.

      OR WE COULD JUST USE SOMETHING LESS FRAGILE.

      Look at the risk; we're always hearing of people losing thousands of dollars, spending most of a decade trying to get it back. TWO MILLION active viruses and another 100,000 every month for the last decade.

      Where else do you go buy a product, and then *immediately* buy someone else's product to ensure it

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cstryon (793006)

        I agree that if there is a company that always has faulty products, that people would stop buying products from them. But nobody has stopped using windows (In this case the problem is IE, activex yada yada) because it generally works in most cases, for what people want it for.

        I used to do tech support in a call center. The company I worked for made networking hardware, so the internet service that packaged our products the most, hired us to also do tech support for the customers with our products. Literally

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by hairyfeet (841228)

        I probably shouldn't feed the troll, and I'll probably get flamed, but what the hell I'm bored. You wanna know why Linux can be more secure than Fort Knox and nobody wants it? Do you really want to know? It is actually very simple-It is because Linux is a GIANT PITA and its UI SUCKS! That's why!

        It doesn't matter how damned good your Linux security is if only geeks can use the damned thing. After all, I can lock a Windows box in a safe and bury it and it'll be safe too, it will be about as usable to home use

        • by marsu_k (701360)

          The reason MSFT knows own the Netbook market, with a decade old OS to your brand new Linux, isn't some plot and the sooner you accept it the better. It is because the GUI in 10 year old XP works better than the 2009 GUI in Linux.

          To each his own I guess, this netbook came with XP preinstalled and I quickly replaced it with Eeebuntu; XP isn't really suited for small displays in my opinion. And the performance is much better, wifi was somehow really unstable under XP. And no, up to this point (and I recon I have done much more with this puter than the average user ever will) I've never done anything that couldn't have been done via the GUI; however CLI is much more convenient if you know how to use it. Actually an usable shell is one

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Killjoy_NL (719667)

            I use the CLI in XP quite often, sometimes it's just a lot easier and faster and more versatile than the gui option.

            And now there's Powershell for XP, that's the new and improved CLI if I'm not mistaken, haven't used it yet though.

            • PowerShell uses cmd.exe as its frontend. Which means NO unicode support whatsoever (like Finale :( ) ... unlike bash on gnome-terminal, which is simply awesome

    • by causality (777677)

      Why dont web hosts scan for hosted vulnerabilities? I imagine a nightly clamav scan by web hosts would make all the difference in cases like these where there is no patch yet but there is an web-based exploit. Heck, some users dont even patch, as was shown by Conficker, which was patched in October and spread like wildfire in January.

      Perhaps they realize that doing so would be damage control, not security? That's if you're using a malware scanner like clamav.

      If they were to scan with something, there are more useful ways. They could scan their hosted systems with something like nessus. That would stand a chance of finding vulnerabilities and identifying what is exploitable so that they may be fixed. That actually would improve security, which is mostly prevention. Then there would be fewer opportunities for malware to infect the

  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @07:08PM (#28697759)

    Firefox users can't be too complacent; Secunia is warning of a 0-day in version 3.5.

    Well, I guess I'm safe. At my workplace, my Redhat 9 installation is incapable of running any version newer than Firefox 2.0.0.20.

    • "Firefox users can't be too complacent;"

      Complacency is the mother of mothers.......

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by butalearner (1235200)

      Firefox users can't be too complacent; Secunia is warning of a 0-day in version 3.5.

      Well, I guess I'm safe. At my workplace, my Redhat 9 installation is incapable of running any version newer than Firefox 2.0.0.20.

      That, and the fact that there are no exploits for the Firefox vulnerability in the wild. The two pieces of news are hardly comparable. Seriously, this is like reporting a string of car thefts exploiting a defect in Ford's keyless entry systems and ending the story by reminding Chevy drivers that their vehicles can be broken into with a sledgehammer.

      • Re:Firefox 3.5? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @08:52PM (#28698607)

        That, and the fact that there are no exploits for the Firefox vulnerability in the wild. The two pieces of news are hardly comparable. Seriously, this is like reporting a string of car thefts exploiting a defect in Ford's keyless entry systems and ending the story by reminding Chevy drivers that their vehicles can be broken into with a sledgehammer.

        False analogy. Better analogy:

            It's like reporting a string of car thefts exploiting a defect in Ford's keyless entry systems and ending the story by reminding Chevy drivers that their keyless entry sytem is also flawed but luckily since fewer people drive Chevy's (and Ford drivers are usually foolish enough to park their car in front of a big warehouse with a sign that says "Not a chop shop") no one's bothered to learn how to break in to a Chevy yet.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Cstryon (793006)

          It's the same as the cool kid in highschool. Popularity also means more people will hate him, or exploit his keyless entry, or the bug in his active x controllers.

          • by Mozk (844858)

            Popularity also means more people will hate him, or exploit his keyless entry, or the bug in his active x controllers.

            But what is he uses passive x controllers?

            • by Mozk (844858)

              If, not is.

            • But what is he uses passive x controllers?

              Easy: Then hax0rs will insert their active probes into his passive security hole, especially after he dropped his canned aire can in the computer cleaning facilities.

        • It's like reporting a string of car thefts exploiting a defect in Ford's keyless entry systems and ending the story by reminding Chevy drivers that their keyless entry sytem is also flawed but luckily since fewer people drive Chevy's (and Ford drivers are usually foolish enough to park their car in front of a big warehouse with a sign that says "Not a chop shop") no one's bothered to learn how to break in to a Chevy yet.

          Yeah, except for that whole thing being an unsubstantiated claim that was first promoted

        • by Super_Z (756391)
          So you are actually claiming that more people use Office Web Components than Firefox? Do you have any references to back up your claim?
      • Re:Firefox 3.5? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by recoiledsnake (879048) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @09:24PM (#28698855)

        Wrong. The details are public and exploits could be happening in the wild. How do you know they're not?

        From http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/07/stopgap_fix_for_critical_firef.html [washingtonpost.com]

        Instructions showing hackers how to exploit an unpatched, critical security hole in Mozilla's new Firefox 3.5 Web browser have been posted online.

    • by Kozz (7764)

      Firefox users can't be too complacent; Secunia is warning of a 0-day in version 3.5.

      Well, I guess I'm safe. At my workplace, my Redhat 9 installation is incapable of running any version newer than Firefox 2.0.0.20.

      Redhat 9?? You're lucky...

      [/mpython]

    • You're in luck!

      Seeing as how its related to the font html tag, I bet its backwards compatible a few versions!

    • by CompMD (522020)

      Sweet. I'm rocking out with Firefox 2.0.0.14 on my FC8 box right now. At least flash doesn't crash it, which really annoys the "gotta have the latest" version fanbois. I can leave Pandora running in one window, and have another open with a whole bunch of tabs, watch YouTube, and never worry about it crashing.

  • A vulnerability to opening an Excel sheet in IE? How many people do that on a regular basis? How many EVER do it? I dont think I can remember having ever tried to nor needing to. How is this newsworthy?

    • Re:Ohh noes.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @07:18PM (#28697843) Homepage

      Apparently, a lot given that the attacks are becoming more intense and frequent.

      My guess is that when Office installs, various ActiveX controls are linked into the OS and by extension, the web browser MSIE. But there are lots of places where this should never have happened.

      1. ActiveX has been proven time and time again to be a very bad idea. It is not sandboxed. There is no way to keep it away from the rest of the OS.
      2. The web browser's integration with the OS. Not only has it been ruled illegal by various nations antitrust courts, but any exploit of the browser also exploits the OS by extension.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by TheNarrator (200498)
        Without an unsandboxed version of the win32 api, which is what ActiveX is, they would be unable to deny the ability to use the internet to those without a recent version of windows and office.
        • by OverZealous.com (721745) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @10:20PM (#28699215) Homepage

          Without an unsandboxed version of the win32 api, which is what ActiveX is, they would be unable to deny the ability to use the internet to those without a recent version of windows and office.

          My head didn't stay unexploded while I wasn't unreading this unstatement.

          • That's unpossible!

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
            It doesn't even parse correctly:

            Without an unsandboxed version of the win32 api, which is what ActiveX is, they would be unable to deny the ability to use the internet to those without a recent version of windows and office.

            With a sandboxed version of the win32 api, which is what ActiveX is, they would be able to allow the ability to deny the internet to those with a recent version of windows and office.

            To paraphrase: "IE plugins from Office won't work without Win32 API running with increased privilages"

            Took me a while to work it out, though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by upuv (1201447)

        I'm a little more militant in my opinion of ActiveX.

        Dumbest idea EVER. Microsoft has tossed more money down this sinkhole of a technology trying to fill the hole. People, Companies and governments have tossed even more down the same hole fixing issues that directly arise from some ActiveX bug.

        How much further along would Microsoft have been along if they had just passed over this DUMB marketing idea anyway. ( It had to come from marketing, it must have, really who else could be this dumb. )

        What it's been

        • by cenc (1310167)

          Not if you sell the loan to some other sucker.

        • by fm6 (162816)

          Not a marketing gimmick. If you did any component-based programming, you'd see a lot of utility in ActiveX objects. They allow people to write libraries that you easily plug into your application and interact with at design time using a GUI like pre-.NET Visual Basic or Delphi.

          What really made this kind of object valuable is that it allowed you to use an object-oriented framework like MFC or VCL without knowing jack about object-oriented programming. Unfortunately, this capability was simply ignored when th

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      A vulnerability to opening an Excel sheet in IE? How many people do that on a regular basis? How many EVER do it? I dont think I can remember having ever tried to nor needing to. How is this newsworthy?

      All it takes is a link to http://example.com/NUDE_PICS_CELEBNAME.xls [example.com]

    • Re:Ohh noes.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by sc0ob5 (836562) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @08:04PM (#28698227)
      You'd be surprised how many people do it. In fact so many people do it where I work that I put a reghack in the logon script to make it so that all XLS files are opened with excel and not IE.

      "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Excel.Sheet.8\BrowserFlags",00000008,"REG_DWORD"

      I didn't put it in place for this vulnerability though, just because a lot of people use macros and don't know how to save as.

      • wouldnt that be the patch that doesnt exist then?

    • A vulnerability to opening an Excel sheet in IE? How many people do that on a regular basis? How many EVER do it? I dont think I can remember having ever tried to nor needing to. How is this newsworthy?

      I think you missunderstand how this works. Hackers can craft a special page which calls the control, which means anyone with Office installed on their system is vulnerable.

      Also as an AC pointed out, it's not really in "Excel", its in "Office Web Components" which are mini-applications specifically designed to be included in (intranet) web pages.

  • Someone finally found a hole in a Microsoft application using a Microsoft framework opening a Microsoft application!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ciderVisor (1318765)

      Yo dawg, I heard you liked ActiveX, so I put some Excel in your Excel so you could get exploited while you were getting exploited.

  • kill bits (Score:5, Informative)

    by HTH NE1 (675604) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @07:20PM (#28697849)

    A temporary fix that sets the 'kill bits' of the ActiveX control is available, but experts believe it's likely most users won't take advantage of the protection.

    Well, Computer World (and CWmike in particular), perhaps more users would take advantage of the protection if you would provide them a link telling them how when you first mention it [microsoft.com] rather than wait until the end of the article where they may not associate it as being the aforementioned solution.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @07:25PM (#28697899) Journal

    I use the IE security settings. Yes. It works. The only real problem with it, is that they are a bit convoluted for ActiveX. I had to slow down and think before I got what I wanted, which is essentially to have any web site that wants to run ActiveX prompt me, and then I can choose to accept (but virtually never do).

    Notice to web developers: If your site requires ActiveX, and it's not an absolutely essential service from a company that I can yell at, I will go someplace else. IIRC, I have one online financial service that fits that category.

    Otherwise, I DON'T NEED ACTIVEX. NOBODY REALLY DOES. ANYTHING WORTH DOING CAN BE DONE WITHOUT IT.

    And yes, that's shouting. It needs to be shouted loud enough for these people to hear it. It needs to be shouted again, and again. ActiveX belongs with IE6. Actually, it should have been killed off many revs before that. It should have been shot down by somebody who countered the suggestion at the very first meeting where it was discussed. Maybe somebody had the flu that day.

    • by wowbagger (69688) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @07:57PM (#28698153) Homepage Journal

      Hear hear on your ActiveX rant, and let me add "What you have said about ActiveX also applies to Javascript."

      I see too many sites that will have almost every link be of the form <a href="#" onclick="follow_link(some_damn_link.html)"> - in other words the only way to follow the link is to use Javascript. This is just sloppy and stupid-lazy - such pages are usually machine generated, and there is NO REASON why the tool couldn't have filled in an appropriate href.

      Yes, there are good uses for Javascript - but do we really want to be allowing J. Random Website to run code in a Turing-complete[*] language on every potential page load? I don't - and that is why I have NoScript installed, and no web site gets to run Javascript by default on MY browser - and since the Securina exploit against Firefox is Javascript based, that reduces (but does not eliminate) my exposure.

      ([*] - Javascript is as Turing complete as C/C++/Java or whatnot - the only thing that makes it NOT truly Turing-complete is the absence of infinite storage, just like C/C++/Java or whatnot).

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

        I have been wrestling with that myself. Some of the reason sites do that is essentially URL rewriting, where they have a name for the page but then depending on your current context they might take you to a different directory or something. Most aren't, but some of the examples I see are actually very clever time-saving devices, viewed from the programmer's perspective. Could you put the same logic in the back-end? Sure. In fact it would be far more secure and protect your IP. And wouldn't be copyable

      • by lennier (44736)

        "the only thing that makes it NOT truly Turing-complete is the absence of infinite storage"

        I've never really understood this part of 'Turing-complete'. If an algorithm requires infinite storage, isn't it also going to take infinite time to access that storage? Therefore it will never complete, therefore it's undecidable, surely. Or did you mean 'finite but unbounded, just slightly bigger than the (computable) problem at hand requires'?

        • by wowbagger (69688)

          'finite but unbounded" - in terms of the Turing machine this is a meaningless statement. Yes, you can say the surface of an orange is finite but unbounded, but for storage, you cannot just keep reusing what you have, like retreading the surface of an orange.

          Thus, you have to have storage that is NOT finite - storage that cannot run out. In other words, infinite.

          Just because an ideal Turing machine has access to "infinite" storage does not mean that all algorithms will use it. I could design a Turing machine

    • by Inda (580031)
      Shout louder!

      I see at the top of this page:

      "Your security settings do not allow Web sites to use ActiveX controls installed on your computer. This page may not display correctly. Click here for options..."

      Well smack my forehead.

      (no, this is not my PC, behave yourself)
  • by Culture20 (968837) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @07:29PM (#28697933)
    Apparently everyone using IE or FF 3.5 is waiting for updates before posting.
  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @07:30PM (#28697943) Homepage Journal

    With the number of ActiveX related security issues you would have thought they would simply drop it or at least sandbox it?

    • Re:Active X again? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mkavanagh2 (776662) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @07:42PM (#28698039)

      I believe Microsoft thinks ActiveX is sandboxing.

    • They have (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @07:53PM (#28698127)

      If you go read the notice, you find out that Vista and Server 2008 aren't affected. Reason is that IE has a sandbox mode on those OSes (Windows 7 too) for things like that. However, it relies on changes to the OS so it hasn't been backported to XP and I don't know that it could be easily.

      So yes, they have sandboxed ActiveX, but it applies to newer versions of Windows only.

      • by BasharTeg (71923)

        Funny thing is, the Firefox 3.5 exploit doesn't work on Vista either according to our testing. Only works on Windows 2000 and XP. Good thing everyone's bashing Vista like it has no features of value and as if it's still broken like pre-SP1 when SP2 is out.

        So your average Microsoft-hating fanboi who is running Firefox 3.5 because IE8 isn't cool enough, and who is running Vista because XP is "way better", is the one who is vulnerable to this Firefox exploit.

    • Re:Active X again? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Penguinshit (591885) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @08:00PM (#28698197) Homepage Journal
      Sandbox?

      What ActiveX needs is a pine box
      • You are modded insightful, but if there was such a thing as "-1 ignorant" I would have certainly modded you rather than replying.

        An ActiveX library is just a DLL. However, it is a DLL that can be indiscriminately loaded by scripts... even scripts on a web page no less (this IS being addressed in Windows > XP). What needs to happen is a whitelist of what scripts can use what libraries if you even want to go that far.

        The solution, in my eyes, is to remove abilities to create ActiveX controls in remote sc
        • by PitaBred (632671)
          ActiveX is just a DLL, but the only reason it exists is TO CREATE CONTROLS IN REMOTE SCRIPTS. It just uses standard Windows widgets and such to do the actual work. You're the ignorant one... the GP was perfectly right. ActiveX is simply a security hole, period.
          • Whores only exist to lure married men from their wives, right? Kill 'em all, right? Just like ActiveX controls, whores have a purpose... not necessarily in line with their intended nature. What should we do with them?
            • Re:Active X again? (Score:4, Informative)

              by causality (777677) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @02:44AM (#28700723)

              Whores only exist to lure married men from their wives, right? Kill 'em all, right? Just like ActiveX controls, whores have a purpose... not necessarily in line with their intended nature. What should we do with them?

              I think I see the part you're missing that would explain to you why some (including me) think ActiveX is fundamentally flawed.

              In terms of security, I think we can agree that the Internet including the Web is rightly regarded as a hostile network. We can also probably agree that good security is done in overlapping layers in order to minimize single points of failure. That's important for many reasons, not the least of which is that a glaring, single point of failure increases both the severity of exploits and the ease with which they may be carried out.

              The problem with ActiveX is the lack of sandboxing. A control has the full privileges of the user running the browser. With XP machines that user tends to be an Administrator, compounding the problem. Trusting this environment to reliably and securely handle remote code on a hostile network is just begging for trouble. The idea is fundamentally flawed and tinkering with it may mitigate the problem but will not fix it. It needs to be abandoned and replaced.

              Java is more suitable for this kind of task. That is, the needed sandboxing capabilities are an integral part of its design, which is not the case with the Windows DLL-type ActiveX controls. If you really want a Microsoft solution, Silverlight can run applications (both remotely and downloaded for local off-line use) and has its own sandbox. Even Flash apps are a better idea than ActiveX, which is saying something considering Flash's security history.

              A solution with a good sandbox combined with running as an unprivileged user is a hell of an improvement. This means that an attacker who wants to own the machine has multiple hurdles. The more this is the case, the more difficult it is for an automated script to pull off a successful exploit. The fact that the malware is fully automated and can rapidly spread is part of why there are so many botnets and other problems. Think of it as something like a captcha: the more a successful exploit requires a determined human being, the fewer massive botnets there are. Fewer botnets mean less spam and fewer DDoS attacks and the like. Nowhere does the low-hanging fruit of ActiveX (and similarly flawed ideas) fit into that picture.

          • ActiveX is just a DLL, but the only reason it exists is TO CREATE CONTROLS IN REMOTE SCRIPTS. It just uses standard Windows widgets and such to do the actual work. You're the ignorant one... the GP was perfectly right. ActiveX is simply a security hole, period.

            ActiveX certainly has some problems, but in these two cases (Excel and Media Player), we are talking about plugins that are specifically designed to be used in web browsers and other "remote scripts". If they were somehow using the Netscape/Firefox plugin API, its likely the same security holes would exist.

            But I will give you credit for at least knowing what ActiveX is, which puts you ahead of 99% of the open source cavemen on this site who just grunt OGG SAY ACTIVEX BAD SECURITY and get score 5 for their p

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by PitaBred (632671)
              I know what they were designed to do. And they do exactly what they were designed to do, it's just horribly insecure. Excel and Media player need to be sandboxed to safely run content directly from the Internet because of stupid design decisions in the software itself, where Excel and WMP will actually run code. ActiveX doesn't do any of that, it simply connects Excel to the Internet, which is where the security flaw is.
  • Why is Secunia (http://secunia.com/advisories/35798/2/) only featuring a link to the exploit of the ff3.5 0day but no link the Mozilla bugtracker?

    Don't want to sound trollish but I don't really know how this whole security business works. So can anyone please explain why there is no bug report for the open source browser?

    • by maxume (22995)

      There is some chance that a bug simply hasn't been filed. Mozilla does keep security related bugs private (or so I understand it, I'm not in that club) until they consider them resolved (which often means releasing an update). Full disclosure generally refers to whoever found the bug telling the public about it, so no need for the "or what?", the bug has been disclosed.

  • by Curate (783077) <craigbarkhouse@hotmail.com> on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @08:35PM (#28698451)
    These attacks are exploiting a flaw in an ActiveX control for displaying Excel worksheets. Right now they are just multiplying. You just know that they will eventually start adding. What happens if they start subtracting? Let's not even mention dividing at this point. God help us all...
    • For a true math joke, you would have done that as "multiply divide add subtract" (or "My dear aunt Sally") in order to get the precedence correct.
  • by Anonymous Coward
  • Exploit (FX3.5) (Score:3, Informative)

    by t0y (700664) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @10:15PM (#28699181)
    Here [milw0rm.com]'s the exploit code for firefox.
    Apparently, it should crash and open up calc.exe. On my machine (win7 RC1) it crashes bringing up the error report thingy.
    No calc.exe for me. :(

    Does this mean I'm "safe"?
    • Nope, doesn't work: Firefox 3.5 Vulnerability Firefox 3.5 Heap Spray Vulnerabilty Author: SBerry aka Simon Berry-Byrne Thanks to HD Moore for the insight and Metasploit for the payload
    • by cbhacking (979169)

      It probably means you have security features that Windows XP (what far too many people still mean when they say "Windows"... it's a fucking 8-year-old OS, stop using it as representative of the whole) lacks. Just like the way that this IE exploit doesn't work correctly on Vista/Server 2008/Win7 either... but nobody bothers to mention that because it works on an OS so outdated it doesn't even have a built-in instant search.

  • Ha-ha, suckers!

  • There's all kind of problem in browsers. I think the only safe way to browse the web is to create a virtual machine, then run the browser within the virtual machine, so if anything bad happens, just replace the virtual machine, then you're good again. Why can't someone think of a way to built a tiny virtual machine within browser, The virtual machine should only apply functionality that a browser ever needed. Then if anything bad happens, just roll back to the original backup of the virtual machine. It's a
  • I don't understand what the problem is with this. Someone please explain. ( Typing on his linux workstation, to connect to his linux server, in an all linux office).

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai

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