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CONTENTS

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IN FOCUS: The Problem with Vista Voice Recognition

NEWS AND FEATURES

- Is HD DVD and Blu-Ray Security Now Moot?

- Vista DRM Cracked Already?

- Symantec Expands into Endpoint Management Via Acquisition

- Recent Security Vulnerabilities

GIVE AND TAKE

- Security Matters Blog: Logcheck for Linux

- FAQ: Disable Windows Vista's User Access Control (UAC)

- From the Forum: Which Firewall Do You Use?

- Share Your Security Tips

- Microsoft Learning Paths for Security: Improving the Intelligence of Your Gateway Security

PRODUCTS

- A Firewall for Your Phone

- Wanted: Your Reviews of Products

RESOURCES AND EVENTS

FEATURED WHITE PAPER

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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=== IN FOCUS: The Problem with Vista Voice Recognition

by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net

Among Windows Vista's new features is robust voice recognition, which sounds rather innocuous. But as it turns out, that isn't the case.

The voice recognition feature lets you talk to the computer (fortunately, it doesn't talk back!) to issue commands, dictate documents, and so on. Therein resides the first vulnerability discovered since Vista's release to consumers last week. Vista can act on verbal commands, and it doesn't matter where those commands come from--they can even come from your computer's speakers!

In his blog, Sebastian Krahmer wrote: "Yesterday I had the idea to use Vista's speech recognition system for remote exploiting. By embedding commands into a soundfile offered by an evil website or into all these Web 2.0 videos, remote attackers might be able to execute commands on a Vista system while they are spoken upon viewing."

http://c-skills.blogspot.com/2007/01/first-vista-remote-exploit.html

Shortly after Krahmer echoed his idea onto the Dailydave mailing list (at the URL below) George Ou decided to give it a try. He made an audio file with embedded spoken commands and played the file. His Vista computer acted on the commands. Microsoft subsequently confirmed the vulnerability.

http://lists.immunitysec.com/pipermail/dailydave/2007-January/003995.html

The vulnerability leaves plenty of room for intruders to go hog-wild creating all sorts of malicious audio-command files. Fortunately, the voice recognition system isn't enabled by default in new Vista installations. Nevertheless, I have to wonder along with Ou why Microsoft didn't integrate a preliminary security system into the voice recognition system. By not requiring some sort of spoken passphrase, the company left a door wide open in Vista.

In Microsoft's Security Response Center blog, Adrian wrote, "It is not possible through the use of voice commands to get the system to perform privileged functions such as creating a user without being prompted by UAC for Administrator credentials. The UAC prompt cannot be manipulated by voice commands by default."

http://blogs.technet.com/msrc/archive/2007/01/31/issue-regarding-windows-vista-speech-recognition.aspx

While that's true, it's still possible to delete files, execute code that doesn't require elevated privileges, and do who knows what other mischief. So, if you must use the voice command system, at least turn off the microphone when you're finished. Hopefully, Microsoft will release a fix for this problem soon. In the meantime, be careful of running audio files with unknown content and of pranksters who might walk by your desk or call you on VoIP and say things like "shut down."

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=====================

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=== SECURITY NEWS AND FEATURES

=======================

Is HD DVD and Blu-Ray Security Now Moot?

Earlier this month, a person using the alias "muslix64" claimed to have circumvented the protection system in High Definition DVD (HD DVD). That system, called Advanced Access Content System (AACS), is designed to prevent duplication and unauthorized playback of AACS-protected disks. Now muslix64 says he's cracked Blu-Ray security, which also uses AACS.

http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/95064

Vista DRM Cracked Already?

A Romanian-born programmer claims to have developed code that can bypass the Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology in Windows Vista. Writing in his blog, Alex Ionescu said that for over a year, he's been working on a method of getting around Vista's signed driver requirements and that he's recently succeeded.

http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/95045

Symantec Expands into Endpoint Management Via Acquisition

Symantec intends to bolster its offering of endpoint solutions with the acquisition of Altiris. Altiris provides solutions aimed at mobile devices, laptops, desktops, servers, and storage-related devices. The company's solutions help manage and enforce security policies, protect against threats, and repair and service assets.

http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/95036

Recent Security Vulnerabilities

If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these discoveries at

http://www.windowsitpro.com/departments/departmentid/752/752.html

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=== GIVE AND TAKE

====================================

SECURITY MATTERS BLOG: Logcheck for Linux

by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://www.windowsitpro.com/securitymatters

Managing and reviewing system logs is vital for security. Here's a tool that helps you get that job done on Linux.

http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/95022

FAQ: Disable Windows Vista's User Access Control (UAC)

by John Savill, http://www.windowsitpro.com/windowsnt20002003faq

Q: How do I disable Windows Vista's User Access Control (UAC)?

Find the answer at

http://www.windowsitpro.com/Article/ArticleID/94966

FROM THE FORUM: Which Firewall Do You Use?

A forum participant is comparing firewalls. He currently uses SmoothWall but wonders if an appliance solution would be better and would like to get some feedback from fellow techies. If he's going to consider another solution, it must interoperate with SmoothWall in order to keep VPNs working between sites. Join the discussion at

http://forums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/messageview.aspx?catid=42&threadid=82953&enterthread=y

SHARE YOUR SECURITY TIPS AND GET $100

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MICROSOFT LEARNING PATHS FOR SECURITY: Improving the Intelligence of Your Gateway Security

This month, we take a dive into the technologies that provide mobile and remote workers with easy and flexible secure access from a broad range of devices and locations including kiosks, PCs, and mobile devices.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/learning

=== PRODUCTS

=========================================

by Renee Munshi, products@windowsitpro.com

A Firewall for Your Phone

F-Secure is demonstrating its recently announced F-Secure Mobile Security for smartphones and mobile multimedia computers at the RSA Conference 2007 this week. F-Secure Mobile Security adds firewall software to F-Secure's previously offered mobile-device antivirus software (F-Secure Mobile Anti-Virus). F-Secure Mobile Security is for devices based on S60 3rd Edition and Symbian OS 9, including four Nokia devices: Nokia N71, Nokia E60, Nokia E61, and Nokia E70. For more information, go to

http://www.f-secure.com

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=== RESOURCES AND EVENTS

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