Hackers can exploit an unpatched flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to access Gmail accounts, according to security firm Cenzic.
Cenzic has warned Internet Explorer users than the browser contains an unspecified cached files bug that, when combined with a cross-site request forgery flaw in Gmail, exposes the webmail account sign-ons and lets others access those accounts and any messages or file attachments there.
Although not a bug that can be exploited remotely - an attacker must have local, physical access to the PC - as Cenzic pointed out, there are scenarios where that's not a limitation. "These vulnerabilities could be exploited such that all users of a shared computer, who use Internet Explorer and share a user account - a common practice at computer kiosks in a library or internet cafe - could be vulnerable," said Cenzic.
Gmail contributes to the overall vulnerability because its URLs display attachments when viewed using the 'View Source' command, the warning added. Internet Explorer, however, sports "improper use of caching directives [and] incorrect access checks on cached Internet Explorer files".
A US cryptographer is warning that the random number generator Microsoft is bundling with SP1 includes a backdoor exploitable by the National Security Agency.
Random number generators are important because they provide the bedrock for SSL keys, which ensure secure internet communications for web browsing, email and instant messaging. Breaking the random number generator could leave user communications open to interception.
Security blogger Bruce Schneier believes this is precisely what will happen to the "Dual_EC-DRBG" random number generator employed by Vista.
"There are a bunch of constants - fixed numbers - in the standard used to define the algorithm's elliptic curve," he says on his blog.