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Re: MSIE src&name property disclosure
From: Dave Aitel <dave () immunitysec com>
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 2004 09:48:39 -0500

Michal Zalewski wrote:

On Mon, 8 Nov 2004, Berend-Jan Wever wrote:

In response to statements found at
http://news.com.com/Exploit+code+makes+IE+flaw+more+dangerous/2100-1002_3-5439370.html

Yup.

But what amuses me most, is the following bit:

 "Microsoft has begun to investigate the Iframe vulnerability and has not
 been made aware of any program designed to exploit the flaw, the company
 said in an e-mail statement to CNET News.com."

When you posted your first message confirming that the problem is
exploitable, I forwarded it to secure () microsoft com, so that they know
they have a problem in case they do not read Full-Disclosure. I got no
response. Later, when you posted a working exploit, I sent them another
forward, including a remark it is probably a good idea to react now, if
they failed to do so before.

In response, I got a mail from "Lennart" of Microsoft Security Response
Center, saying that they are aware of the problem and read mailing lists,
and that my original mail simply got lost in the noise.

Several days later, this statement surfaces in an article, showing beyond
any doubt that they are, quite simply, lying to the public to save face
and gain time.

As much as I am not a rabid Microsoft hater, this pissed me off more than
a bit.

The really insidious thing is how they always attempt to claim that their version of disclosure policy is "commonly accepted" when nothing could be further from the truth. The security community, including most security consulting companies, follows a wide range of policies. Most of these policies have very little in common with Microsoft's policy, which they call "Responsible Disclosure (tm)." Of course, they themselves do not practice responsible disclosure to their customers. If they did, then EVERY vulnerability they discovered internally would be in an advisory. This is how it is done in organizations that truly do want to protect their customers, such as the Linux community.

This is another reason why studies comparing Microsoft's security to Open Source security are always bizzare. They compare the entire set of Linux vulnerabilities to a tiny subset of the bugs Microsoft knows about, but pretends other people don't. WINS is a classic example.

Dave Aitel
Immunity, Inc.

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Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.
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