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Tavis Ormandy  (Source: flickr)
Tavis Ormandy said Microsoft is difficult to work with regarding these issues

A Google engineer has called Microsoft out on a recent security flaw in the Windows operating system, and even said that the Windows creator is hostile toward third-party vulnerability researchers.

Tavis Ormandy, a Google security engineer, exposed the flaw on Full Disclosure. The Microsoft vulnerability, which was in the Windows kernel driver "Win32k.sys," was featured in a Full Disclosure mailing list on May 17. 

Before that, Ormandy revealed the flaw on GitHub back in March in hopes of bringing other security researchers on board to investigate. 

Ormandy said on Full Disclosure, "I don't have much free time to work on silly Microsoft code, so I'm looking for ideas on how to fix the final obstacle for exploitation."

Ormandy posted on Full Disclosure yet again on Monday, saying "I have a working exploit that grants SYSTEM on all currently supported versions of Windows. Code is available on request to students from reputable schools."

Ormandy also insulted Microsoft on Full Disclosure, saying "As far as I can tell, this code is pre-NT (20+ years) old, so remember to thank the SDL for solving security and reminding us that old code doesn't need to be reviewed ;-)."

Microsoft has been annoyed with Ormandy for publicly discussing vulnerabilities before they could be patched. Microsoft prefers "responsible disclosure," where security experts are asked to report flaws privately to the company.

"Note that Microsoft treat[s] vulnerability researchers with great hostility, and are often very difficult to work with," said Ormandy. "I would advise only speaking to them under a pseudonym, using Tor and anonymous email to protect yourself."

Source: ComputerWorld



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Ormandy
By ipay on 5/23/2013 11:50:53 AM , Rating: 5
"I would advise only speaking to them under a pseudonym, using Tor and anonymous email to protect yourself."

Interesting suggestion given the context and considering Tor has vulnerabilities.

I'm sure things would have gone smoother had he done the respectable thing and notified MS first like most other researchers of these matters do.




RE: Ormandy
By AlphaVirus on 5/23/2013 11:57:01 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
I'm sure things would have gone smoother had he done the respectable thing and notified MS first like most other researchers of these matters do.


Yep, he acts very immature about this entire situation. Why would you release it to college students before sending it directly to Microsoft. It sounds like this kid is an attention whore.


RE: Ormandy
By Mitch101 on 5/23/2013 12:09:38 PM , Rating: 5
Dear Tavis Ormandy we apologize for for not responding sooner as the developer has a date with a girl.

We realize this may require additional explaining by your subsequent e-mails and your need to share this with others that are also not equally interested in the female species.

We highly recommend doing this sometime instead of staying home looking for code issues and thinking this is a higher priority than going outside once in a while.

Microsoft


RE: Ormandy
By Obujuwami on 5/23/2013 12:12:41 PM , Rating: 5
He's doing it for his employer...so Google can make MS look stupid. No big shock there as they are rivals and they want to make each other look inept or hostile.


RE: Ormandy
By Ammohunt on 5/23/2013 1:39:50 PM , Rating: 5
Well i would buy that if Google software was sooo perfect as to not have security flaws. There is a big Karma trap in running down a competitor in this fashion.


RE: Ormandy
By Stephen! on 5/23/2013 2:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Google can make MS look stupid


Seems like Microsoft is perfectly capable of doing that on their own.


RE: Ormandy
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2013 2:19:54 PM , Rating: 1
I seem to remember a certain below the belt "Scroogled" smear campaign running first...


RE: Ormandy
By lanceredel on 5/24/2013 9:37:16 PM , Rating: 5
I think the salvo "don't be evil" was first in this relationship.


RE: Ormandy
By Omega215D on 5/23/2013 3:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
"I don't have much free time to work on silly Microsoft code, so I'm looking for ideas on how to fix the final obstacle for exploitation."

Fat boy needs to go back to the basement and stuff his face with cheetos as google code isn't all that either.

I'm still bitter about Google only wanting to hire those from prestigious colleges despite there being plenty of programming talent in "lesser" colleges. Granted, this was a long time ago but it hurts when you get told that you're not talented because you didn't go to some snot nosed school.


RE: Ormandy
By crispbp04 on 5/23/2013 3:58:46 PM , Rating: 3
"Microsoft is hostile" coming from a Google engineer who disclosed an exploit that affects hundreds of millions of users.


RE: Ormandy
By HrilL on 5/23/2013 6:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
You mean over a billion users. It works on all versions of windows. Its 20+ year old code. Joys =)


RE: Ormandy
By Darksurf on 5/23/2013 11:30:46 PM , Rating: 1
I'm a linux user... So make that Over a 1,000,000,000 - (one + other linux users) ;)


RE: Ormandy
By talikarni on 5/23/2013 4:27:22 PM , Rating: 1
If DT would have reported the entire story, you would know that he tried to contact MS privately but they flat out refused to hear what he had to say or admit there was any bug, so he had to go public with it.


RE: Ormandy
By ipay on 5/23/2013 4:48:14 PM , Rating: 4
Given he has a history of dick moves like this, that claim is suspect.


RE: Ormandy
By amelia321 on 5/29/13, Rating: 0
RE: Ormandy
By Wombat_56 on 5/30/2013 9:36:39 PM , Rating: 2

quote:
"I would advise only speaking to them under a pseudonym, using Tor and anonymous email to protect yourself."

Interesting suggestion given the context and considering Tor has vulnerabilities.

I'm sure things would have gone smoother had he done the respectable thing and notified MS first like most other researchers of these matters do.


I don't know about Microsoft, but there have been many other instances where people revealing security bugs have been threatened with legal action. Seems like good advice to me. And while Tor may not be perfect, it still provides a good degree of protection.


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