Researchers slate 'month of bugs' launch for Wednesday

Claim to have unpatched vulnerabilities in Excel, IE and other Microsoft, Apple and Mozilla software

Starting tomorrow, a little-known group of security researchers will kick off a month of bug disclosures that target unpatched vulnerabilities in software from Adobe, Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple and others.

But the researcher who came up with the idea of month-long bugfests four years ago isn't optimistic that reviving the practice will have much of an impact on the general state of computer security.

The "Month Of Abysssec Undisclosed Bugs" (MOAUB) will feature flaws in Microsoft's Excel and Internet Explorer, the Linux-based cPanel Web hosting control panel, and other software, said Abysssec Security Research in a post to the firm's blog earlier this month.

"They're threatening -- at least, the companies affected will see it as a threat -- to release vulnerabilities on all kinds of software, from desktop applications to browsers," said Jamz Yaneza, threat research manager at Trend Micro, today.

Microsoft, which figured prominently in the MOAUB announcement, said it's aware of the group's plan. "As always, if and when a vulnerability is publicly disclosed, Microsoft will take immediate action to determine the appropriate response for our customers," said Jerry Bryant, group manager with the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC).

Yaneza said he had not heard of Abysssec before this.

According to the group's Web site, it is made up of four researchers -- none of whom were identified by a full name -- who specialize in penetration testing, exploit development and application security review. Abysssec's Web site was registered in 2008, but the WHOIS record is hidden behind a privacy wall.

However, LinkedIn listed Shahin Ramezany of Albany, N.Y, as a researcher at Abysssec. The group did not reply to an e-mailed request for an interview.

"Starting on the 1st of September, we will release a collection of [zero-days], Web application vulnerabilities, and detailed binary analysis (and [proof-of-concepts]) for recently released advisories by vendors such as Microsoft, Mozilla, Sun, Apple, Adobe, HP [and] Novel [sic]," the foursome said.

Yaneza said users should pay attention to the MOAUB disclosures, but he didn't seem worried about the threat.

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