What's the price of a new Windows 8 zero-day vulnerability?
French security company Vupen is selling a vulnerability in Microsoft's latest operation system and browser
IDG News Service - It's not exactly the type of advertisement most people would understand.
For sale: "Our first 0day for Win8+IE10 with HiASLR/AntiROP/DEP & Prot Mode sandbox bypass (Flash not needed)." It's part of a recent message on Twitter from Vupen, a French company that specializes in finding vulnerabilities in widely used software from companies such as Microsoft, Adobe, Apple and Oracle.
Vupen occupies a grayish area of computer security research, selling vulnerabilities to vetted parties in governments and companies but not sharing the details with affected software vendors. The company advocates that its information helps organizations defend themselves from hackers, and in some cases, play offense as well.
Vupen has found a problem somewhere in Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system and its Internet Explorer 10 browser. The flaw has not been publicly disclosed or fixed by the company yet.
Vupen's finding is one of the first issues for Windows 8, released last week, and Internet Explorer 10, although vulnerabilities have since been found in other third-party software that runs on the Windows 8.
Dave Forstrom, Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing director, said the company encourages researchers to participate in its Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure program, which asks that people give it time to fix the software problem before publicly disclosing it.
"We saw the tweet, but further details have not been shared with us," Forstrom said in a statement.
Vupen's Twitter message, written on Wednesday, implies the vulnerability would allow a hacker to bypass security technologies contained within Windows 8, including high-entropy Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), anti-Return Oriented Programming and DEP (data execution prevention) measures. The company also indicates it is not dependent on a problem with Adobe System's Flash multimedia program.
"Certainly, if the bug is confirmed, then this could be a black eye for Microsoft having their brand new and touted most secure platform already found flawed just after its public release," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations for nCircle.
The market opportunity for a successful exploit may be limited due to the recent release of Windows 8, but "on the other hand, nobody has confirmed this bug isn't also functional on older version of Windows or IE," Storms said.
Jody Melbourne, a penetration tester and senior consultant with the Sydney-based Australian security company HackLabs, said the vulnerability could be useful to third-party Microsoft developers interested in stealing code-signing certificates or source code.
So what's the vulnerability worth? It's hard to say. Vupen doesn't publish a public price list. But Melbourne said "the value of the bug will only increase with time, of course, the longer Vupen sits on it and if no one else stumbles upon it."
Send news tips and comments to email@example.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Desktop Apps White Papers | Webcasts