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Re: Microsoft Windows Help Centre Handles Malformed Escape Sequences Incorrectly
From: Benjamin Franz <jfranz () freerun com>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 11:20:56 -0700

On 06/10/2010 09:26 AM, Susan Bradley wrote:
You commented that Microsoft needs to address a communication 
problem.  It's irrelevant to the full disclosure issue in my mind.

I'd honestly like to know if there is a break down in communication at 
the MSRC that needs to be addressed.  It appears there is one?

No. He didn't. What he said was: "Those of you with large support 
contracts are encouraged to tell your support  representatives that you 
would like to see Microsoft invest in developing  processes for faster 
responses to external security reports." That sounds like he is 
suggesting that companies put pressure on Microsoft to invest more 
resources in external security reports to me.

Microsoft has historically been exceedingly slow to address any reported 
vulnerabilities *except when people light a fire under them by 
publishing exploits*. Anything less typically takes months to years to 
fix. Even publicly shaming Microsoft isn't always enough. There are 
known, serious, published vulnerabilities that Microsoft didn't fix for 
*years*. I personally found and publicized one of them in 1998 - which 
*8 years later* was still not fixed 

It isn't about *communication*, it's about Microsoft treating external 
reports seriously and *taking action in a timely way - even if they 
don't have an 'exploit in hand'*.

Tavis indicated he suspects that the 'black hats' already know about 
this particular exploit (IOW he thinks it is a '0-day' exploit already 
loose in the wild).

So who, exactly, would be protected by his *NOT* publishing it?  End 
users? They are probably already being exploited by it.

Benjamin Franz

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