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Microsoft Security IT

Microsoft Admits To Being Hacked Too 92

Posted by samzenpus
from the join-the-crowd dept.
colinneagle writes "Once upon a time, Microsoft claimed that falling prey to social engineering tactics and then being hacked was a 'rookie mistake.' But now is the time for companies to jump on the bandwagon, to admit they were targeted by cyberattacks and successfully infiltrated. The stage is so crowded with 'giants' at this point, that there are fewer 'bad press' repercussions than if only one major company had admitted to being breached. Microsoft now admitted, hey we were hacked too. 'As reported by Facebook and Apple, Microsoft can confirm that we also recently experienced a similar security intrusion,' wrote Matt Thomlinson, General Manager of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Security. Unlike the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal there was no mention of Chinese hackers."
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Microsoft Admits To Being Hacked Too

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  • by mystikkman (1487801) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:26PM (#43007295)

    The Macs at the Mac Business Unit were affected.

    FTFA:

    During our investigation, we found a small number of computers, including some in our Mac business unit, that were infected by malicious software using techniques similar to those documented by other organizations.

    It wasn't just the Macs. This was an attack on the Oracle java browser plugin, not an attack on a specific platform.

    Troll less, recoiledsnake.kthxbai.

    That can imply that Macs are being used elsewhere in Microsoft apart from the Mac Business Unit. The malware was hosted on an iPhone dev site, and Microsoft has a lot of iPhone app development going on with Bing, Photosynth, Xbox etc. which are not part of the Mac Business Unit.

    The computers hacked at Facebook were Macs. (Facebook devs pretty much use Macs exclusively). The ones at Apple were pretty obviously Macs. So the implied assumption in the absence of concrete information is that it was pretty much all Macs even at Microsoft targeted by this particular hack(although the exploit itself was cross platform).

  • As expected (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cyrano de Maniac (60961) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:36PM (#43007433)

    The U.S. government has recently been saber-rattling about the NSA/DOD/whoever taking on the role of protecting vital national computer interests, particularly against the hacking efforts of China. And now, very atypically and with very little rationale for publicly admitting as much, a number of major technology/web companies have started admitting they've been hacked, allegedly from China.

    So, was the U.S. government recognizing a real trend ahead of time, or maybe they had non-public information regarding these activities? Or are the companies being pressured to help create a story that will justify a government takeover of the network security infrastructure?

    I distrust coincidences and the timing of these initiatives and disclosures smells a bit odd to me. Expect congressional inquiries into the "growing cybersecurity threat" to be covered on C-SPAN within the next few weeks.

  • by ThomasBHardy (827616) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:53PM (#43007647)
    "During our investigation, we found a small number of computers, including some in our Mac business unit, that were infected by malicious software using techniques similar to those documented by other organizations."

    Let's disect this, shall we?
    "A small number of computers" of OS type undisclosed, therefore it included Windows machines or else MS would have specifically called out the faults of others to safe face and made it clear that none were running it's flagship operating system.

    "including some in our Mac business unit" of OS type undisclosed, therefore it included Windows machines or else they would have called out OSX by name.

    For all we know there were 78 machines compromised (a small number compared to the number of machines at all of Microsoft, and of those only 2 were in the Mac business unit. the statement reads as true but deflects the maximum amount of blame away by implying that it's a Mac issue. .
  • by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Monday February 25, 2013 @04:07PM (#43007833)

    I got into a bit of a flame war back and forth with a guy when the Java vulnerability first appeared. He said it would only affect PCs since viruses don't work on Mac or Linux. I called bs he responded with "they use different filesystems, learn something before spewing off at the mouth." To which I replied: 1) this is a browser based attack and 2) do you think a hacker can't figure out /home/bob rather than \Users\bob? My God the things people come up with. All three platforms now have a request for elevation kind of mechanism that is supposed to protect you. The problem is for 90% of users a UNC prompt or its mac/linux equivalent pops up and they click ok. To most users the fingers go in the ears as soon as you try to explain the risks and what is happening and they just ask "So what do I need to click to continue?" This is more a mental problem then a technological one and I don't see any likely solution. Sandboxing like Win 8 Modern can help where you at least in theory make no app able to see each other directly or even the whole of the filesystem but there are just too many use cases where being able to browse all the filesystem, one app needs to get something from anothers space etc that are needed.

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

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