Re: It's not that simple... [Was: Re: [Full-disclosure] Disney Down?]
From: Micheal Espinola Jr (michealespinola_at_gmail.com)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 14:46:44 -0400 To: email@example.com
This issue effects XP and W2K3 systems as well. I don't see the
argument of W2K being "on the back burner" as having any relation to
Regardless of "a LOT of Windows 2000 out there...", these companies
weren't bitten the same day the initial exploit was released. 6 days
is plenty of time to have tested compatibility and to distribute the
PnP is not a show stopper when it comes to patch compatibility testing
- especially considering the fact that the exploit allows for remote
code execution and elevation of privilege. Perhaps certain people
need to learn or take a refresher course of what that exactly implies.
And I'd say it is just that simple when you consider the fact that San
Diego County waited to install the patch *the night after* they got
hit by the worm. *That's* why organizations like San Diego County,
with ~12,000 Win2k hosts, were bitten so badly.
Greg Smith, the county's assessor, recorder and clerk, said "As long
as we're up (today), we'll be fine" Greg Smith is a thinking much too
lightly of the situation. Their systems just got hit with an exploit
that allows for remote code execution and elevation of privilege. If
I was him, I would be very concerned about data theft, and performing
network wide audits.
"Yesterday's crash marked the third time in recent weeks that
significant computer problems have affected county government." Well,
enough said about Greg Smith or whoever manages SDC's systems...
Lets take a look at the ISS advisory that makes a respectful analysis
of the phrase "code execution and elevation of privilege":
"Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could be leveraged to
gain complete control over target systems, and might lead to malware
installation, exposure of confidential information, or further network
compromise. Due to the widespread use of the affected operating
systems and the critical nature of component affected, it is likely
that servers and desktops used for a wide variety of purposes are
vulnerable to this issue."
The initial exploited fault aside, I see no excuse for this.
On 8/17/05, Fergie (Paul Ferguson) <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> It's not that simple.
> Why such success with a worm targeted at specific
> vulnerabilities in Win2k?
> I'll tell you why -- the answer is spelled out (correctly)
> in an article written by Ina Fried in a June 28th, 2005,
> C|Net News article entitled "Windows 2000 moves to the
> back burner", which discussed Microsoft's end-of-life
> support for the OS platform.
> Here are a couple of key excerpts:
> Microsoft on Tuesday issued what is expected to be its last significant revision of Windows 2000.
> The software maker released what it calls an Update Rollup for the 5-year-old operating system, which is due to shift at the end of this month from receiving mainstream support to extended support. Microsoft does not generally add features to a product under extended support, and the Update Rollup is largely a collection of previously released patches as opposed to a batch of new features.
> In addition to already released fixes, the collection "may contain fixes for non-public low- and moderate-level security issues that did not warrant individual security bulletins," a Microsoft representative said.
> Although Windows 2000 has been followed by several other Windows versions, the software remains extremely popular in corporations and small businesses. It still accounts for nearly half of all Windows-based business desktops, according to a recent survey by AssetMetrix.
> So there you have it -- there's still a LOT of Windows 2000 out there...
> Having said that, you also have to realize that from the time
> the MS05-039 vulnerability was disclose (and the exploit code was
> released the same day), to the time that very large enterprises
> had to deploy it was very, very short compared to threats of the
> That's why organizations like San Diego County, with ~12,00
> Win2k hosts, were bitten so badly.
> It's just not that simple...
> - ferg
> -- Micheal Espinola Jr <email@example.com> wrote:
> Thanks for correcting my spelling error.
> You mention that this issue "will have little or no presence on
> consumer systems", but you do realize that you are writing for the
> "Enterprise News & Reviews" magazine, eWeek - right? You also realize
> that MS05-039 effects the current "consumer" version of Microsoft
> Windows (aka Windows XP) - right?
> You also say, "If it had been International Paper or some company like
> that rather than media outlets I suspect it wouldn't be getting all
> this attention". While this is likely true, this exemplifies the need
> to take security matters more seriously. MS05-039 was issued on
> August 9, 2005, and major companies were still exploited 6 days later.
> Your own story emphasizes the lack of consideration that is still
> being given to security vulnerabilities, even though Microsoft is
> continuously scrutinized at a product level for what is increasingly
> related to poor administrative and security practices.
> Applying this particular patch takes mere moments to download (a
> 500-600k file depending on your OS), moments to install, and a
> recommended reboot (although only 3% of the systems I personally
> patched technically required it).
> The entire procedure for patching a single system would require less
> than 5 minutes to perform (omitting the time of the reboot).
> Distribution of this patch on scale is also relatively trivial for
> someone whose position it is to do it.
> Trivializing this (or any) security patch is quite a gamble. As
> Security Center Editor for eWeek, it surprises me that you would take
> such a position. Any vulnerability that would allow for remote code
> execution and elevation of privilege should be treated as a top
> priority, from both internal and external attack vectors. An issue
> such as this should not be treated as a likelihood; it should be
> treated as a possibility. When you think in this manner, your
> priorities change.
> I'm not trying to badger you, but in light of the Disney, CNN, ABC,
> and The New York Times mishaps (amongst others), I must admit that I'm
> glad I don't follow your column or style of advise.
> On 8/17/05, Larry Seltzer <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > >>"So patch your systems, but don't miss your kid's play in order to do it.
> > We've seen a lot worse than this in the past."
> > >>Brilliant advise[sic]!
> > Yeah, clearly I timed the column badly, but I still think there's more smoke
> > than fire on this outbreak. If it had been International Paper or some
> > company like that rather than media outlets I suspect it wouldn't be getting
> > all this attention. I also think it's fair to say that when it dies down,
> > relatively soon, it won't achieve the endemic status of Blaster and Sasser
> > because it will have little or no presence on consumer systems.
> > Larry Seltzer
> > eWEEK.com Security Center Editor
> > http://security.eweek.com/
> > http://blog.ziffdavis.com/seltzer
> > Contributing Editor, PC Magazine
> > email@example.com
> "Fergie", a.k.a. Paul Ferguson
> Engineering Architecture for the Internet
> firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
> ferg's tech blog: http://fergdawg.blogspot.com/
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