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Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 15:25:25 -0800
From: Seth Arnold <>
Subject: Re: Six Step IE Remote Compromise Cache Attack

On Wed, Nov 05, 2003 at 02:23:29PM -0800, Thor Larholm wrote:
> There are no new vulnerabilities or techniques highlighted in this
> attack (which is what it is), just a combination of several already
> known vulnerabilities.

I think that the engineering-for-security discipline is still in its
infancy. Part of the growth of the discipline is going beyond the simple
boring problems into complex chains of apparently harmless problems
combining to make real problems.

I think this is a valid claim in this case -- if some of the problems
really are known for more than two years without fixes, then I can only
draw the conclusion that either (a) they fell through the cracks or (b)
they were deemed apparently harmless.

I don't have much faith in (a), in large part because of your late,
lamented, and missed Unpatched IE Vulnerabilities page. That leads me
to conclude that the original poster has come up with a slick way of
exploiting the complexity of the software -- which should introduce
discussion about how to properly handle the complexity of the software.


And for the love of God, would people PLEASE not use Lotus Notes or
Outlook/Exchange's "Out of Office Autoreply" on mail lists? Contact your
mail administrator for details how to do something more appropriate.

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