RE: [Full-Disclosure] Networking security problem?
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 11:34:08 +1000
i don't believe you are pedantic, but i have no idea if you're a headbanger.
i think that windows is already archaic enough without turning their attempt at a multiuser operating system back into a single user one.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: gregh [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Friday, 11 July 2003 10:56 AM
> To: Disclosure Full
> Subject: [Full-Disclosure] Networking security problem?
> Tested on XP Home and 98SE only.
> I wont make this a real long formal thing as it is quite
> simple and rather than make it a bug style report, I am
> asking for your input.
> Last year I was working on a 98SE network problem that turned
> out to be a busted NIC. The particular NIC was in a payroll
> machine with obviously very sensitive info in it. In order to
> give some sense of security to the payroll woman, at some
> time in the past, someone had set up a screen saver password
> that she knew how to change. Eg, resume from screen saver
> required typing the password to get any further on the
> machine to a novice and as she kept the payroll room door
> locked anyway, it was deemed "enough" by management.
> Unfortunately, though, along came I to fix a minor problem
> and to be sure the NIC was responding each way (eg, it could
> be seen by the machine in the same office) I installed the
> NIC, then went to the other machine to ping it and see if
> programs were working OK. Normal routine. Prior to me getting
> to the other machine, she had questions and we spent 10
> minutes talking and then I went to the other machine and ran
> programs, pinged, searched the C drive on the ! payroll
> machine and came back to the payroll machine. I found the
> machine was locked out by password and as she was standing
> nearby, I got her to type the password in and away it all went.
> Then it hit me - I had been running programs on the payroll
> machine from the other machine in the network. Curious, I
> went to another office and did the same thing after forcing
> the screen saver on. Again it all worked and I could look up
> sensitive data. The LAN they have there does have internet
> access and has a basic "out of the box" firewall and they
> think they are safe. I pointed out how I easily got in from
> within their office and others could do the same straight to
> the payroll machine from outside but the manager said they
> couldn't as "we have a firewall". Well, not wanting to push
> the point as this was the first time I had been there, I left
> it alone but then decided to report those findings to MS.
> Eventually they did respond but they said they don't see it
> as a problem but WOULD make it an OPTION in the next SP for
> XP and also I presume the next full OS (Longhorn?) they issue.
> Am I being pedantic here? To my mind, if a password is
> required to use the machine locally, it should automatically
> require the network connection to be broken. XP goes back to
> the Welcome screen depending on your settings or the NT
> looking username and password box you would all know. I find
> it totally mystifying that a machine that is "protected" at
> keyboard level by a password so people cant get into it and
> look up sensitive info can still be gotten into at least by
> the local LAN and info STILL gained. The problem here is if a
> disgruntled employee went postal and knew this info, he/she
> could do what they want. I understand the programs and data
> could be protected in other ways but it also hit me that
> there must be quite a few small to medium companies living in
> a delirious limbo like this, too.
> Any comments? Am I just pedantic or is this really a headbanger?
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