Merry Christmas Dude trojan still making the rounds

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| Since the 24th and at the time of this writing we have received about a dozen
| messages containing what many people are referring to as the "Merry Christmas
| Dude" spam message - half a dozen of those, this morning. The senders and
| subject lines vary, but might include "Mrs. Clause is out tonight!", "Seasons
| Greetings", "Christmas Email", and "Ho Ho Hos".

HP rushes out patch for 'bricking' bug

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| A pair of bugs in the update service's ActiveX control can be used to execute
| remote code or gain additional access rights, porkythepig said then.

Witness the marvels of Microsoft's ActiveX.


'Bricking' bug threatens most HP, Compaq laptops

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| In a post to the Web site Wednesday, a Polish security researcher
| who used the alias "porkythepig" spelled out a pair of vulnerabilities in an
| ActiveX control used by HP's Software Update, the patch management program
| bundled with virtually every HP- and Compaq-branded laptop. *

Rogue ActiveX controls menace users

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| *Flaws in ActiveX controls are being increasingly used to run security
| *exploits.
| [...]
| An attack exploiting this vulnerability can lead to arbitrary code execution
| by a remote attacker," a blog posting by Symantec researcher Parveen
| Vashishtha warns. *

RealPlayer Attack Circulating

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| The attack exploits a flaw in an ActiveX browser helper object, software that
| RealPlayer employs to help users who are experiencing technical difficulties,
| so the PC must be using the Internet Explorer browser to be affected by this
| particular attack, Symantec said. *

Yahoo! battered by second ActiveX vulnerability

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| The vulnerabilities affect versions of Yahoo! Messenger 8.x prior to version
|, released late last week. Users are urged to upgrade.

Way Too ActiveX

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| Today, over at Symantec's Security Response Weblog, Greg Ahmad
| reveals startling--and I do mean shocking--increases in ActiveX
| vulnerabilities. According to Symantec, ActiveX vulnerabilities
| stayed in the 12- to- 15-a-year range from 2002 to 2005. For
| 2006, the number of vulnerabilities "reached 50," with 42 in
| the second half of the year--coincidentally, the same time
| period Microsoft finished up and released Internet Explorer 7.

Acer puts Active X hole on laptops

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| Laptop outfit Acer seems to have placed an Active X control on its
| computers that seems to allow webpages to execute any program.
| This huge hole in network security has been installed on board Acer
| lap-tops since 1998.

Adobe Confirms 'Critical' Reader, Acrobat Exploits With IE

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| A critical security vulnerability in an ActiveX control used by
| Internet Explorer could allow malicious hackers to use Adobe's
| Reader and Acrobat software to launch PC hijack attacks,
| according to a warning from Adobe Systems.

Month of ActiveX bugs project begins with two Office flaws

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| A hacker known as shinnai kicked off his "Month of ActiveX Bugs"
| (MoAxB) project with a bang by exposing a number of severe
| vulnerabilities affecting OCX controls in Microsoft Office.

Vista security overview: too little too late

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| So, what have we got here? An adequately secure version of Windows,
| finally? I think not. We have got, instead, a slightly more secure
| version than XP SP2. There are good features, and there are good
| ideas, but they've been implemented badly. The old problems never
| go away: too many networking services enabled by default; too
| many owners running their boxes as admins and downloading every
| bit of malware they can get their hands on. But MS has, in a
| sense, shifted the responsibility onto users: it has addressed
| numerous issues where too much was going on automatically and
| with too many privileges. But this simply means that the ownerw
| ill be the one making a mess of their Windows box.
| Data hygiene is still an absolute disaster on Windows. In fact,
| it's worse than it ever was in some ways, and that's very bad
| indeed. Browser traces still in the registry, heavy and
| complicated indexing to improve search, new locations where data
| is being stored. It all adds up to a privacy nightmare. Keeping
| a Vista box "clean" is going to be impossible for all but the
| most knowledgeable and fastidious users.
| So don't rush out to buy Vista in hopes of getting much in
| return security-wise. I do like some of the changes, at least
| in theory, or as a decent platform on which to build an
| adequately secure version of Windows one day. But that day,
| if it ever comes, will be well in the future.

Symantec: Microsoft conflict of interest is damaging internet

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| Symantec's chief executive has lambasted Microsoft for a dangerous
| conflict of interest as both the provider of an operating system
| and seller of software designed to secure its users.
| [...]
| Thompson told RSA delegates: "You wouldn't want the company that is
| keeping your books to audit your books. The same logic should apply.
| You wouldn't want the company that created your company's operating
| platform to be the one that is securing it from a broad range of
| threats. It's a huge conflict of interest."