Tuesday Fun With Microsoft

The new patches are here, the new patches are here!

Microsoft Patches 17 Bugs in December Patch Tuesday

Microsoft fixed 17 bugs in the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office, Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. The fixes also cover a zero-day flaw exploited by the Duqu Trojan.

Microsoft released 13 security bulletins to fix 17 different vulnerabilities as part of its December Patch Tuesday update, according to the advisory released Dec. 8. Three bulletins were marked critical and the remaining 10 were rated important.

See also:
Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for December 2011
Merry Christmas! Microsoft Plans Massive Patch Tuesday to Close 2011
Last Patch Tuesday of 2011 Secures Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
December 2011 Patch Tuesday sees 13 Microsoft bulletins, Duqu patch
Microsoft fixes 20 bugs in year’s last ‘Patch Tuesday’
Microsoft to patch three critical holes
Microsoft slims final patch Tuesday of 2011 to 13 patches from proposed 14
No BEAST fix from Microsoft in December patch batch
Microsoft fixes Duqu hole, but not BEAST problem
Microsoft scratches BEAST patch at last minute, but fixes Duqu bug
December Patch Tuesday Fixes Duqu Worm
‘Duqu’ zero-day Windows flaw patched this week
Microsoft: Duqu patched, bringing years total to 99 corrections

Well, it’s a good thing that Microsoft finally patched against the Duqu virus, better late than never, as they say. What are you waiting for? Start installing your gifts!

/at least you can’t say Microsoft didn’t get you anything for the Holidays

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Hacking The High Ground

Not content to merely cyberattack our civilian and military computer systems every second of every day, the Chinese have now taken their hacking attacks to a whole new, higher level.

Chinese Military Suspected in Hacker Attacks on U.S. Satellites

Computer hackers, possibly from the Chinese military, interfered with two U.S. government satellites four times in 2007 and 2008 through a ground station in Norway, according to a congressional commission.

The intrusions on the satellites, used for earth climate and terrain observation, underscore the potential danger posed by hackers, according to excerpts from the final draft of the annual report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The report is scheduled to be released next month.

“Such interference poses numerous potential threats, particularly if achieved against satellites with more sensitive functions,” according to the draft. “Access to a satellite‘s controls could allow an attacker to damage or destroy the satellite. An attacker could also deny or degrade as well as forge or otherwise manipulate the satellite’s transmission.”

See also:
Hackers Interfered With Two U.S. Satellites, Draft Report Says
Hackers Interfered With 2 US Government Satellites
Hackers reportedly behind U.S. government satellite disruptions
Hackers Targeted U.S. Government Satellites
Chinese military may have hacked US satellites
China may have hacked US satellites
Hackers Targeted U.S. Government Satellites
U.S. satellites tampered by hackers
Hackers interfered with two U.S. satellites, report says
Chinese hackers suspected of interfering with US satellites
New hacker target: Government satellites
Chinese hackers may have attacked U.S. satellites
China suspect in US satellite interference: report
US reportedly attacked by Chinese hackers linked with the military
US Satellites hacked by Chinese Military says Congressional Commission

Given their ongoing and constant obsession with conducting cyberwarfare, it’s hardly surprising that the Chinese would be interested in attacking satellites. After all, in the event of hostilities, taking out the enemy’s satellites would effectively render them “blind”. The U.S. military is particularly dependent on satellite technology for communication and navigation, so it would only be logical for the Chinese, either by hacking or with kinetic strikes, to attempt to neutralize our satellite network and with it our technological advantage. The question is, what are we doing to counter this extremely obvious and serious threat?

/does anyone still remember how to navigate using a map and compass?

Tuesday Is The Time At Microsoft When We Patch

It’s a relatively small one this time, but critical.

Microsoft Fixes 22 Bugs in July Patch Tuesday

Microsoft addressed 22 security vulnerabilities across four security bulletins in July’s Patch Tuesday update. Three of the patches fix issues in the Windows operating system.

The four bulletins patched issues in all versions of the Windows operating system and in Microsoft Visio 2003 Service Pack 3, Microsoft said in its Patch Tuesday advisory, released July 12. Of the patches, only one has been rated “critical.” The remaining three are rated “important,” according to Microsoft.

“Today’s Patch Tuesday, though light, should not be ignored, as these patches address vulnerabilities that allow attackers to remotely execute arbitrary code on systems and use privilege escalation exploits,” said Dave Marcus, director of security research and communications at McAfee Labs.

Security experts ranked Microsoft bulletin MS11-053, which addressed a critical vulnerability in the Windows Bluetooth stack on Windows Vista and Windows 7, as the highest priority. Attackers could exploit the vulnerability by crafting and sending specially crafted Bluetooth packets to the target system to remotely take control, Microsoft said in its bulletin advisory.

See also:
Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for July 2011
Microsoft fixes 22 security holes
Microsoft issues critical patch for Windows 7, Vista users
Microsoft Releases 4 Updates for Windows and Office
Microsoft warns of critical security hole in Bluetooth stack
Security Experts Warn of Microsoft Bluetooth Vulnerability
Patch Tuesday Fixes Critical Bluetooth Flaw in Windows 7
‘Bluetooth sniper’ Windows vuln fix in light Patch Tuesday
Microsoft Squashes Bluetooth Bug
Microsoft patches ‘sexy’ Bluetooth bug in Vista, Windows 7
Microsoft Fixes 22 Bugs in July Patch Tuesday
Businesses should not ignore critical Microsoft Patch Tuesday update, say experts
Microsoft Patch Tuesday: four security bulletins
Microsoft Patch Tuesday – 12th July 2011
Windows Update

This isn’t the first time you’ve had to update Windows, you know what to do, so get busy.

/until next time, same patch time, same patch channel

Obama Sets Another New Record

And it’s not a good one.

U.S. posts record monthly budget deficit

The U.S. government posted a budget deficit of $222.5 billion in February, the largest monthly deficit on record, the Treasury Department reported Thursday.

The government spent about $333 billion in the month and took in about $110 billion. February is typically a deficit month.

Year-to-date, the deficit is $641.2 billion, according to Treasury.

And just how bad is Obama’s out of control spending?

Big government doesn’t come cheaply. According to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) figures released Monday, the budget deficit for February hit a staggering $223 billion – meaning the Obama administration added more in debt last month than was borrowed in all of 2007.

Yep, that’s right, Obama added more to the national debt, money that we don’t have, in a single month, than George Bush added in the entire year of 2007. What’s wrong with this picture?

See also:
U.S. Runs $222.5 Billion Deficit in February; Highest for Any Month
U.S. Budget Deficit Expanded to Monthly Record $222.5 Billion in February
U.S. Posts Record Monthly Budget Deficit In February
February budget deficit highest ever for any month
Budget deficit hits record $222.5 billion in February
US budget deficit hits record in February
U.S. federal gov’t monthly budget deficit rises to record high in February
US Trade & Budget Deficits Get Worse
Deficit this month more than all of 2007
Obama Is Setting Records but Not in a Good Way

Everybody knows exactly what has to be done, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security need to be reformed back into solvency. It’s going to be painful and unpopular and the longer we wait to do what’s necessary, the more painful and unpopular the reforms are going to be. Unfortunately, no one seems to want to take the lead on this issue and get the job done, least of all Obama, who’s supposed to be leading this country. Obama is nothing more than a narcissistic political opportunist, more concerned with getting reelected than he is concerned with doing what’s right for the American people and the country.

Hopefully, when they release their 2012 budget proposal, the Republicans will step up to the plate as patriotic adults, negative political repercussions be damned, and include entitlement reform that will start to bring this country back on to the path to fiscal sanity.

/because someone has to do the right thing for America, a concept lost on Obama and the Democrats

Life And Death Fun And Games In Iran

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is free!

Iranian woman facing death ‘freed’

Photographs of an Iranian woman sentenced to death for adultery, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, have been released, but without any official confirmation of a report that she has been freed.

The images, released on Thursday by the Iranian state-controlled Press TV, show Ashtiani while on home leave last week.

The International Committee Against Stoning (ICAS), a German-based campaign group, says the photographs suggest Ashtiani has been freed.

Patty Debonitas, a spokesperson for the committee, one of the main groups which campaigned on behalf of Ashtiani, hailed the reported release a “historic” victory in an interview with Al Jazeera on Thursday.

“It’s a historical success because the international outcry worked,” Debonitas said.

Um, no she’s not.

Iran state television denies reports of woman sentenced to stoning’s release

State television in Iran denied reports that a mother of two sentenced to death by stoning had been released.

Earlier rumours that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, whose case sparked a massive international outcry and calls from celebrities that she be released or her sentence commuted, would be freed prompted jubilation around the world.

. . .

Early Friday local time, government-owned Press TV released a statement saying Ms. Ashtiani had been taken home to film a special in which she would confess to murdering her husband and show the scene of the crime for a TV special.

“Contrary to a vast publicity campaign by Western media that confessed murderer Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has been released, a team of broadcast production team with the Iran-based Press TV has arranged with Iran’s judicial authorities to follow Ashtiani to her house to produce a visual recount of the crime at the murder scene,” the broadcaster wrote.

The “Iran Today” program, said it would broadcast its report on Ms. Ashtiani’s case Friday evening and over the weekend.

See also:
Iranian TV to air interview with woman sentenced to death by stoning
Fate Remains Unclear Of Iranian Woman Setenced To Stoning
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani: a timeline from sentencing to ‘release’
Iran denies freeing woman sentenced to death
Ashtiani recounts murder on Press TV
Canadian advocates hail ‘astounding’ release of Iranian woman
Sakineh photos emerge in Iran without release confirmation
Hopes Grow For Iranian Stoning Woman
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani ‘at home’ pictures trigger confusion over her fate
Iranian woman sentenced to death reported free after global outcry
No official reaction by Iran yet on release of death row woman
Iranians Must Get Stoned

Is or will Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani be free? Who knows? Knowing how cruel and diabolical the Iranian government is, I doubt it. It’s evil enough that the Iranian government sentenced a women to death by stoning, for adultery, but what kind of sadistic government forces the condemned to confess and reenact the crime, which may or may not be coerced, on State TV? What manner of barbaric voyeurism is that?

/I’d like to believe she’s free, she’s already been through tortuous, life threatening hell in an Iranian prison, but I won’t believe it until she appears on TV in a Western country