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NEWS - December 19, 2007

by Donna Buenaventura / December 18, 2007 7:45 PM PST

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.


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Gmail open to Internet Explorer hijacks
by Donna Buenaventura / December 18, 2007 7:50 PM PST

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".


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IE7 - 1st browser to fully support EV SSL
by Donna Buenaventura / December 19, 2007 6:43 AM PST

Internet Explorer 7 is the first browser to fully support Extended Validation SSL and below is the update from Windows Vista Security Team:

Today there are nearly 3,500 sites are now protecting their customers with EV SSLs, including Alaska Airlines, AutoZone, British Airways, eBay, FedEx, PayPal, Microsoft, Royal Doulton, The Body Shop UK, and Travelocity. In addition leading financial services have been quickly adopting worldwide including the Banque National du Canada, Charles Schwab, Deutsche Bank, SunLife, Sovereign Bank, UBS, and Vanguard. While the Microsoft Phishing Filter and EV SSLs alone will not solve all of the internet’s ills, combined they are important step to protect brands and consumers alike.

More at http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsvistasecurity/archive/2007/12/18/extended-validation-ssl-update.aspx

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Free Dr.Web anti-virus for Windows Mobile
by Donna Buenaventura / December 19, 2007 7:03 AM PST

Doctor Web, Ltd., a Russian developer of IT security solutions, announces the release of a new product – Dr.Web anti-virus for Windows Mobile and launch of Dr.Web "mobile" web-site.

Dr.Web anti-virus for Windows Mobile protects mobile devices – pocket PCs and communicators – that run Windows Mobile 2003/2003 SE/5.0./6.0.The new product protects only from viruses written specifically for wireless. Today a number of such specific threats is very small. Their malicious capabilities do not impose serious danger to owners of expensive gadgets which are more likely to be stolen rather than infected. [...]

Given this a decision to give licenses to Dr.Web anti-virus for Windows Mobile for free made by the company management is natural and logical.

“The idea that users should not pay for protection from threat that do not exist agrees with basic principles of Doctor Web, Ltd.” – Boris Sharov, the company CEO comments on the release – “On the one hand, we think it immoral to sell a product which is not quite useful yet. On the other hand, rapid development of mobile technologies and wide application of the instant payment services will inevitably result in emerging of more dangerous viruses for wireless. We have no doubts that virus makers have started working on commercial viruses for mobile devices a long time ago. Such viruses won’t aim to damage a device which was the beginning of viruses for PC. These will be sophisticated Trojans and spyware. We do understand that the threat though latent is real. That’s why our company has developed a protection from the possible threat. But now there are no dangerous viruses and so there is no threat for users and by now the product is free. So any user of Dr.Web for Windows products can get a free licence and be ready to address a threat at any moment”.

Download: http://download.drweb.com/wince/

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