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Last post Author Topic: Interesting tad bit - MS Windows Genuine Advantage Phones Home Every day  (Read 16102 times)

thunder7

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Just noticed Windows Update: wants to instal this.

Size: 1.6 MB - 4.8 MB

Security issues have been identified that could allow an attacker to remotely compromise a computer running Internet Explorer and gain control over it. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.

More information for this update can be found at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=62568

Swiss Cheese filling a hole in water barrel with many holes

f0dder

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thunder7, once you have Service Pack 2 and recent patches installed, your computer can't (for what I know) be remotely exploited just by being connected to the internet - you'd have to use IE to browse some malicious site, run a trojan, whatever.

Fortunately, even if your original XP install media is vanilla without service packs, you can slipstream SP2+updates and burn a new install media. http://www.nliteos.com + http://www.ryanvm.net/msfn makes this process very easy.

It's unfortunately IE has so many exploits, but at least they're being found and fixed.

And really, don't think that other operating systems and programs aren't full of security issues as well. It's just a lot more interesting to attack Microsoft products for two reasons:

1) it's extremely much more widespread than anything else. If you want a botnet, you're not going to try infecting a few hundred machines if you can get a few hundred thousand.

2) it's political. Lots of people hate Microsoft.

As for apple, ho humm. They had this cute ad that basically claimed they were immune to virus attacks. Try googling for "os x exploit", though. And... http://cad-comic.com...comic.php?d=20060513 :)

As for the security update you linked to, it looks to me like it's just a regular "use IE to visit malicious site, *b00m*" - not like a proper "remote exploit".
- carpe noctem

Josh

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Josh no disrespect
However if you really think about it Windows XP Pro holes in it, "Like pouring water into a barrel watching to see where it leaks, wait it will.
I mean no disrespect.

However if WXP was this safe virus's would have nothing to latch on, and hacker would not be able to hack us, etc etc.
A friend of mine said once Oh you mean like my Apple.
I have never been rich enough to afford an Apple so I can not say.

However being Bill Gates Helped Steve Jobs and wow low and behold, Apple can now run Windows XP hmmm,...Intresting. Now why would you want to run XP if Apple is so good.
Because you can one friend of mine said.
Yeah ok!. I can understand, however is that Apple still as safe?

Any Apple users out running a dual OS (Apple & WXP) ???

I really can not believe Windows is so safe.
Because nothing is ever 100% safe.

Not routers not firewalls.
Not Windows XP Pro


Also, with all due respect, EVERY OS HAS HOLES IN IT. If you subscribe to any decent security mailing list, you will see that linux has several CORE PACKAGES which have exploits every day. I get more daily notifications for patches I need to apply via apt-get dist-upgrade than I do with windows monthly updates. OSX also puts out patches that fix batches and batches of holes. You just dont hear about these because these OS's are in the minority. But again, I also challenge you to write an OS that is used on millions of different hardware combinations with billions of different pieces of software that havent undergone any quality testing, and make it not have bugs or holes. Windows XP is a very decent OS, and the ONLY exploit I have ever been hit by was blaster. Just because these people are finding holes, doesnt mean the OS isnt usable. Microsoft patches the holes, and they do it well, in my opinion. With the advent of XP SP2, I have never had a single problem with winxp that I havent caused by installing a driver that wasnt WHQL certified, or by some oddball software configuration.

I ask you this, how many of these exploits have hit you that werent caused by you installing something, or visiting a site that has "questionable" content? As f0dder says, the main reason windows xp exploits are so widely publicised is that it is used far more than ANY OTHER OS. Another thing I noticed, that link you posted was a patch from APRIL, and you said windows update just now wants to install it. This is a problem, if you arent willing to update regularly (I installed this particular update back in early may), then you are asking to be exploited. A lot of users I see complain about the number of patches microsoft has, then they complain when something hits and that microsoft cant patch fast enough, or that they want to test it to make sure it works. Microsoft is in the unfortunate situation of they're damned if they do, damned if they dont, in the eyes of most tech users.

thunder7

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Again no disrespect Josh by any chance do you work for Microsoft???.

I understand everything you are saying however, being I only use my PC for Graphic art
http://thunder7.deviantart.com/
http://www.artwanted.com/artist.cfm?ArtID=24645&SetBG=Yes
http://www.artuproar.com/?profile=thunder7

And they find Windows graphics bug opens backdoor
From this URL http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2145755/windows-graphics-bug-opens

From a graphic now that is very intresting hmmm,...

Then of course here is all this info http://www.google.co...lr=&cr=countryUK|countryGB&start=10&sa=N
I believe Carol Haynes Posted I believe.
129,000 Page hits -  Windows Microsoft Backdoors.

And I also use my PC to surf the net, my friends call me a "SEEKER" [from Harry Potter] because I have a lot of bookmarks 58,000+ I have everything from A-to-Z. And I keep surfing for more.
I have many categories 'HEALTH' 'FAMILY' 'TECH' 'INTRESTING' 'COOL STUFF' 'AUDIO' 'ART' and many sub folders.

I get lost at times looking thru all the data.

I could spend 12 years showing you ever bookmark I have to prove my point.
I have info from very creditable people known on the net and computer industry.
So I can prove my point.

I am not trying to argue with you here,...
rather open discussion.



« Last Edit: June 11, 2006, 11:30:00 AM by thunder7 »

Josh

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Again no disrespect Josh by any chance do you work for Microsoft???.

I understand everything you are saying however, being I only use my PC for Graphic art
http://thunder7.deviantart.com/
http://www.artwanted.com/artist.cfm?ArtID=24645&SetBG=Yes
http://www.artuproar.com/?profile=thunder7

And they find Windows graphics bug opens backdoor
From this URL http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2145755/windows-graphics-bug-opens

From a graphic now that is very intresting hmmm,...

Then of course here is all this info http://www.google.co...lr=&cr=countryUK|countryGB&start=10&sa=N
I believe Carol Haynes Posted I believe.
129,000 Page hits -  Windows Microsoft Backdoors.

No, I do not work for microsoft. I work for the US Military (Army) doing satellite communications, so I am far from a microsoft employee. I do, however, try and keep an open mind about things and not try and get too paranoid about things.

On that note, You keep pointing to the link that carol posted, Which I have already replied to. That backdoor was a RUMOR and people were discussing whether or not microsoft would put one in. This was for the bitlocker drive encryption software that microsoft will be including in Vista. They already stated publicly that they will not put a backdoor in there as it would defeat the purpose of having drive encryption. The British gov't wanted this hole so they could get access to data on a criminal's pc. Again, this was shutdown by MS, which came to the same conclusion that someone would find this and exploit it.

The WMF bug, was patched immediately by microsoft. All of these exploits you list have all been patched by microsoft. And I ask, were you affected by the WMF bug? Did you have a pc crash because of it or were you hacked? You keep evading points I've made or questions I've asked you, please, I ask that you reply to them next time. You keep going to these same exploits and comments that you've already made. If you are so worried about security, why are you just now getting to installing an update that has existed since early may?

Also, please, post links that you have from your library showing these backdoors that you describe (That were proven to exist, and arent just conspiracy theory type articles or comments). I will be more than happy to discuss them with you.

nudone

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Quote
I understand everything you are saying however, being I only use my PC for Graphic art
http://thunder7.deviantart.com/
http://www.artwanted...=24645&SetBG=Yes
http://www.artuproar...om/?profile=thunder7

you've got some great looking fractals going on there, thunder7.  :Thmbsup:

(and i love ms windows, just for the record.)

app103

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The NT kernel is far more stable and far more secure than the 9x kernel, that has been proven time and time again. I remember having to reinstall win98 every 3-4 months due to some driver or rogue app that would crash it. In XP and 2k, I have driver rollback, I have system restore,

I didn't have much luck with Win98 either, but ...

I installed WinME about 3+ years ago on my P1...and exposed it to heavy daily around the clock use. (we work in shifts in my house and a computer doesn't get a chance to be idle for longer than it takes for someone to get up and use the bathroom and someone else to jump in the seat) I still haven't formatted it since that install. And WinME also has System Restore, just like XP does....it was the first version of Windows to have it. Win2k does NOT have System Restore, as you implied. Microsoft didn't give 2k users that luxury. Not sure what I would need driver rollback for since I won't be updating them and I have them backed up with Driver Magician any way.

Quote
IE6 (GOLD RELEASE) support for win9x will cease after July of this year ( http://support.micro...t.com/gp/lifesupsps/ ). So no, they wont receive patches, only win2k/xp will. This is good because the old 9x code bases need to be retired since the XP codebase is proven to be far more stable.

Updates should continue for IE 6 on all versions of Windows till they retire IE6 for all Windows versions.

If they had no intention on doing this then there shouldn't have been an IE 6 for 9x to begin with.

Quote
The WMF bug, was patched immediately by microsoft. All of these exploits you list have all been patched by microsoft. And I ask, were you affected by the WMF bug?

That isn't true. This bug was uncovered back in the beginning of January and I am still waiting for Microsoft to release the patch for my WinME, which is affected. And yes, I have been affected by the bug because I installed a 3rd party patch while waiting for an official one and unregistered the required .dll file. Same patch I put on my XP system while I waited.  And I am getting tired of not being able to see thumbnails in Explorer and not being able to open .png files any more while I wait for an official patch that will fix this and let me go back to getting full use of my operating system. Like I said in an earlier post...WinME users keep getting the short end of the stick.

Quote
While there are more exploits, how many have you been hit by? The only one I was hit by was blaster, and that was an easy patch.

None. I never have been a victim of any type of exploit while running 9x.

I must be some sort of magician. I have run 9x for years without falling victim to an exploit, without ever being infected with a virus, without any major spyware issues. And my system has been quite stable, not needing a format or reinstall in quite a few years. The last format was to upgrade the OS to WinME. And the only time I reboot is to reset the modem.

And I have used it for EVERYTHING...programming, graphics work, running a web server, hosting a chatroom with 30+ active chatters even. Some have accused me of abusing that poor old pc....pushing it to its limits, constantly....running software I should never have even thought of installing on it. I treated that P1 like it was a P4.

And every day that system gets better & better...more & more stable.

I can't say the same for my XP machine's stability.

Uptime record on 9x was in excess of 65 days straight, online with heavy use. (a major power failure in my neighborhood broke that streak)

Uptime record for XP has been about 3 days...and if you compare system specs between the 2 machines, the XP one hasn't been worked nearly as hard.

Josh

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IE6 Gold release wont receive updates as of the date I posted, however, microsoft considers each update a "new release" of IE. Hence, IE6 SP1 will be a new release, IE6 SP2 (XP) will be a new release. Microsoft will be cutting off security updates for XP GOLD sooner than they will for XP SP2 or SP1 (As you can verify by checking update.microsoft.com where they have a box that says only SP1 and SP2 receive new updates).

While your luck with XP hasnt been as good, I have seen (including my pc) uptimes of over 3 months. My PC uptime record is 2 months, 1 week and 3 days a couple of months back on my old PC before the power supply failed. I've also seen win9x stay up for months at a time, we have pc's at work that have been up for 2 years on win95.

Driver rollback is a very useful feature that lets you rollback to a previously installed driver if an upgrade goes afoul. Its saved me numerous times and I havent had to rely on a third party app.

I didnt intend to imply that 2k had system restore, I retract that implication.

With your saying that you were affected by the WMF bug, I dont consider being affected having to install a 3rd party app (THIS IS JUST MY OWN OPINION, Not saying its everyones), I consider being affected meaning that you have had an exploit hit through the vulnerability that was associated with said filetype. Yes, it impacted your system usage as you had to unregister the wmf shell dll, but I dont consider it as you being "hit" by the vuln.

Anyways, glad to see you are having a good time with WinME, but I must say you are in the minority as I've seen and troubleshot many systems in my previous jobs (as well as the 10 years I've been on irc in efnet's #help) where people have had windows ME installed.

Anyways, I await your reply!

f0dder

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thunder7: did you ever use EMF/WMF graphics format? Probably not, as it's largely a (obsolete) print format. The bug was fixed rapidly. It was pretty serious, yes, but a hidden backdoor? Nah.

And google for "Windows Microsoft Backdoors" gives 129,000 hits? "os x exploits" gives 10,300,000. Which is of course ludicruous, but serves to demonstrate that simple google searches don't show the real problems.

App, since you don't have anything negative to say, you're one of the lucky users of WinMe :). People generally either think "it worked just fine" or "it's the worst system Microsoft ever designed". Win98 2nd Ed. worked pretty well (in the mediocre and crashing easily) way across all systems - WinMe either worked okay, or crashed like hell. At my old hischool, we had to roll back ~50 machines to win98se (trading WinMe licenses to win98 licenses) - not fun.

Quote
Updates should continue for IE 6 on all versions of Windows till they retire IE6 for all Windows versions.

If they had no intention on doing this then there shouldn't have been an IE 6 for 9x to begin with.
Ho humm. NT and 9x versions of an application have a lot of codebase in common, there's still some differences, and applications have to be extensively tested before release (you might not think they do this, but they do ;)). I can quite understand why 9x support is being dropped.

Quote
And yes, I have been affected by the bug because I installed a 3rd party patch while waiting for an official one and unregistered the required .dll file.
You haven't been affected by the patch then, but by unsupported 3rd-party software ;). In reality, an in-memory patch could have been done that would just remove the problem, since the details are well-known. But nutjobs like Steve Gibson don't have the skills to write something like that.

Interesting that you've had 65 days uptime, considering the ~50-day timestamp counter wraparound thing :)

Funny thing with XP is that *a few* people are having really hellish problems with it too. It's not at the scale of the WinMe problems, though, and I think it can generally be attributed to hardware failure or bad drivers - NT does put more strain on the system, and makes bad stuff break easier.

I've never bothered with long uptimes on windows myself, as I (unless something important is running) turn off my box every night for sleep and power reasons. I know that people using hibernate have had insane uptimes, and I've had 14 days easily (with 12 times hard abuse and 12 times "only downloads and computations").

I've always disabled driver rollback and the likes. If I've shafted my system, I reinstall it to get a decent state. That's probably just me that tends to royally shaft my system when it finally happens :)

- carpe noctem

thunder7

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I like Windows to, I just wish it was not so buggy.

It is like you go to buy a car, they ok you bought the car!. You go to drive it home they tell, aaah,... the say you have to get it towed to your house, the engine,trasmission, wheels, bracks we will have to send you when there finished.

If that was so none of us would buy with these conditions.

That just about how Windows is.
But you really do not Own Windows that is on the CD, your renting it. Or so they make it sound.

I was going to buy this awesome graphics program, until I saw this:

http://www.pixarra.com/order.html

TwistedBrush (Version 9.3 - 1 Year License) - $59.95

Take an extra 15% off today with coupon PSK1515B

Electronic Delivery. License valid for 1 year. Free updates for 1 year. License must be renewed after 1 year to continue using the software.



Needless to say I am not buying that program, I do not like it that much

Army huh? Josh.
Well first off I want to Thank you for serving our country
:beerchug:

And second Like I said my girlfriend for a living she is a computer Tech.
I just got thru asking am I accurate here? She said yes Windows has too many back doors.

And third: I do not know everything nor will I claim I do.
There is a lot I do not know, I have been using Windows for 12 years now, I know all the little lovely problems I have had, and the fun I have had, and wonderful friends I have made.


f0dder

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Quote
It is like you go to buy a car, they ok you bought the car!. You go to drive it home they tell, aaah,... the say you have to get it towed to your house, the engine,trasmission, wheels, bracks we will have to send you when there finished.
It's more like... it's working fine, but when you start installing a custom engine and a big-ass stereo system, it'll start failing. (that's for XP SP2 anyway, XP vanilla and SP1 were broken wrt. remote exploitability).
- carpe noctem

Josh

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With a car, if they find a crippling bug, they fix it, just as MS has. They issue a recall. Also, if your g/f is a tech, ask her to give you proof of these backdoors. I guarantee she cant. There hasnt been a single proven backdoor into microsoft software that was intentionally put there, only rumors started by conspiracy theorists that think there are just because it is microsoft.

thunder7

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 if your g/f is a tech that is like me telling you to send me the army.
There is enough proof on the net. You are going to belive what ever you want Josh, I could show you links, I doubt you would believe it.
I am not going bother

f0dder

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thunder7: there's no proof of backdoors. All there is, is conspiracy theories from nutjobs like Steve Gibson. I haven't come across anything yet that looked like it was intended to be a backdoor. The leaked NT4 and Win2k sources didn't contain anything that looked like backdoors.

Sure, a well-crafted backdoor by a smart person would be designed to look like a bug. But the exploitable bugs so far haven't really smelled like backdoors but rather as genuine programming errors.
- carpe noctem

Josh

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if your g/f is a tech that is like me telling you to send me the army.
There is enough proof on the net. You are going to belive what ever you want Josh, I could show you links, I doubt you would believe it.
I am not going bother

Thunder7

I apologize if you took my comments as a hit against your girlfriend, it was not intended as such. I just wanted to continue the debate by having you or her post links to confirmed backdoors that werent just rumors. I feel, that if a true backdoor were found, it would be much more widely publicized on the news. Anyways, like I said in my private message to you, if you wouldnt mind having her post some links to these backdoors that you mention, I would appreciate it so we can continue this debate. The one posted by Carol Haynes was something the British Gov't WANTED put into windows to give law enforcement a way around the bitlocker encryption for Vista, but Microsoft denied that request saying it would defeat the whole purpose of encryption. That would be like the DoD putting a backdoor into their internal SIPRNet (secure internet) that would allow on the fly decoding. It just wouldnt happen.

thunder7

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Aplogie accepted. :D
Thank you.

sunsound

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Hey fOdder ...just a question;  Why do you keep calling Steve Gibson a 'nutjob'? :huh:  Wasn't he the Very Kind soul that GAVE ZoneAlarm to anyone that wanted it? :Thmbsup:

f0dder

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sunsound: because of his use of BIG COLORED WORDS, conspiracy theories, generally not understanding exactly what he's dealing with, blowing things (including his own accomplishments) out of proportion, et cetera.

- carpe noctem

mouser

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gibson seems like a good guy to me but he is a bit out there sometimes.. some controversy over his statements.  for example he recently flat out said ms planted backdoor stuff recently but it turned out not to be true..

he does do some entertaining podcasts with leo laporte every week that are worth listening to:
http://grc.com/securitynow.htm

f0dder

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Just take the SecurityNow stuff with a grain of salt, dismiss the conspiracy theories, and do your own research before trusting any of it. Then you'll be fine. Gibson isn't a "security expert", he merely digests other people's work, without always understanding it properly.
- carpe noctem

Robert Carnegie

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I accepted one issue of the "Genuine Advantage" update, but not the latest one.  It was offered as an "Important" update, I think, and I was allowed to say "No.  Hide it."  Obviously it doesn't do anything useful to me; I bought a licence to use Microsoft Windows XP, and the Genuine Advantage program will either do nothing, or interfere with software that I am entitled to use. 

In the meantime, I still get to load other updates.  But Windows Update still whines at me that I "hid" an important update.  Whiny Microsoft.

Some of my stuff requires MS.  But I'll use Linux when and where I can.

Carol Haynes

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Just posted another article regarding WGA in another thread. Check out http://www.donationc...10.msg28415#msg28415 if you haven't already.

The interesting thing is that by installing this as a critical update MS have actually gone against their own declared policy on the use of AutoUpdate. When it was first designed MS repeatedly argued that it would only be used for critical updates - no user actually needs WGA at all - it is only for MS's advantage.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2006, 02:46:45 AM by Carol Haynes »

nudone

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excuse me if this has already been asked/answered - but is it possible to remove WGA after it has been installed?

Carol Haynes

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I think it is not easy. There are no uninstall options and if you delete the file windows simply regenerates it.

The trouble is that you have to let it run occasionally to be able to download updates. According to the article I posted above some people can't get critical updates without WGA (which is another area where MS have fallen down on their stated policy).

f0dder

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You cannot remove it from add/remove programs, even when you check "show windows updates". Windows will tell you that this file cannot be removed.

You can use something like SysInternals' AutoRuns to disable the necessary stuff. Iirc there's both a service(!) as well as a Winlogon Notify(!!!) entry. Then you can delete a couple of DLL files with WGA* in their name (Wgatraynotify or something similar sounding, iirc). If you get a "file in use" error, you might need to reboot windows first.

So... yeah, it can be uninstalled, but not by regular end-users.
- carpe noctem