Google Engineer Finds Microsoft Security Flaw, Says Company is Hostile About It
May 23, 2013 10:51 AM
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."
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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