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Subject: [IP] more on Steve Gibson: MS WMF is a Backdoor, Not a Coding Mistake

  • From: David Farber <dave@farber.net>
  • To: ip@v2.listbox.com
  • Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 16:47:12 -0500



Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Frankston <Bob2-19-0501@bobf.frankston.com>
Date: January 13, 2006 4:21:41 PM EST
To: dave@farber.net, ip@v2.listbox.com
Subject: RE: [IP] Steve Gibson: MS WMF is a Backdoor, Not a Coding Mistake


As one of the Groklaw commenters reminds us, Gibson also wanted to take out the raw sockets calls in Windows because he thinks that they are a security hole when removing them only creates the illusion of security.



Just reading his analysis, the WMF is a classic operating system bug &#x2013; a callback from a protected context. Given that the code has been around for a long time and seemed to work I can understand overlooking it. Calling it a conspiracy is very strange. It&#x2019;s not completely different from the more subtle bug in expanding JPG files. As to asking Microsoft to patch all old versions of Windows they did -- the patch is called XP.



I do appreciate his explanation even if I don&#x2019;t agree with his conspiracy theory.



Ideally there would be no bit rot in the world but the solution is simplicity rather than a combinatorial explosion of systems mixed with patches.



Let&#x2019;s not confuse na&#xEF;ve hindsight analysis with understanding &#x2013; it makes it more difficult to address the issues.



It&#x2019;s also important to realize that the processor is not the only execution engine &#x2013; all applications are execution engines that apply polices. Befuddling them is a standard attack vector &#x2013; especially when the execution engine is a clerk interpreting a baroque policy (such as cellular plans).



As noted in Schneier&#x2019;s comments on identity &#x2013; we can&#x2019;t fix human factors attacks with a simple technical patch as Gibson seemed to want to do with raw sockets.



-----Original Message-----
From: David Farber [mailto:dave@farber.net]
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2006 15:47
To: ip@v2.listbox.com
Subject: [IP] Steve Gibson: MS WMF is a Backdoor, Not a Coding Mistake







Begin forwarded message:



From: Matt Manor <kingmanor@gmail.com>

Date: January 13, 2006 12:54:39 PM EST

To: David Farber <dave@farber.net>

Subject: Steve Gibson: MS WMF is a Backdoor, Not a Coding Mistake



Steve Gibson: MS WMF is a  Backdoor, Not a Coding Mistake



http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060113111825193



http://www.grc.com/sn/SN-022.htm



  Those of you using Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP will want to follow

this story:  Steve Gibson has examined  WMF  and he now believes it

was  deliberately coded.   It looks to him that Microsoft put a

backdoor into Windows, which can be triggered even if Active X is

turned off and security is at high.





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