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posted by janrinok on Wednesday February 07 2018, @11:05PM   Printer-friendly
from the colour-me-surprised-again dept.

Every few years, bugs known to affect all known version of Microsoft Windows turn up calling into question many claims from the lobbying giant regarding their software branch. The Inquirer is one of many sites reporting on recently leaked NSA tools which can target all versions of Windows from the past two decades. Althougth the emphasis in the article titles is on NSA, the exploits only make use of widely known holes in Microsoft systems which Microsoft often tells NSA about long before issuing an attempt at a patch. Their collaboration goes back for years, and even long before it was the first to join the NSA in kicking off the Prism program.

Researcher Sean Dillon from cybersecurity firm RiskSense tweaked the source code of three nicked NSA exploits - EternalSynergy, EternalChampion and EternalRomance - to work against Windows versions dating back as far as Windows 2000.

Windows machines taken over through these exploits are part of a large black market industry where compromised machines are bought, sold, traded, and fought over for the purposes of producing spam, launching distributed denial of service attacks, spreading further malware, ad click spoofing, manipulating polls and games, and many more illegal activities.

Source : https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3026129/leaked-nsa-hacking-tools-can-target-all-windows-versions-from-the-past-two-decades


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  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:58AM (6 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:58AM (#634581) Journal

    I doubt they can get into Windows 2.0 — for the simple fact that it didn't support networking.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by requerdanos on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:06AM

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:06AM (#634584) Journal

    Windows 2.0... didn't support networking

    Not as a Windows component, no, but it ran on top of DOS, which did have something called "Microsoft LAN Manager" which you could run to provide networking support. The familiar "NET [USE, etc.]" commands are a remnant of LAN Manager.

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:33AM (4 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:33AM (#634639) Homepage Journal

    WinNT 3.1 was apparently the first Win OS that wasn't built on top of DOS. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_NT_3.1 [wikipedia.org] However, all consumer versions of Windows prior to Win95 were just overlays on top of DOS. If Windows was installed on a DOS which had networking, then Windows was able to connect to networks.

    That Wiki page helps to clarify the history of OS/2 and NT, if anyone has questions on that subject. Basically, Windows3 was a continuation of OS/2, whereas, NT3 incorporated things like 32 bit disk access. In 1993, NT3 had Lan Manager built in.

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    • (Score: 4, Informative) by requerdanos on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:53AM (3 children)

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:53AM (#634648) Journal

      all consumer versions of Windows prior to Win95 were just overlays on top of DOS.

      all consumer versions of Windows prior to Win95 including 95, 98, and ME were just overlays on top of DOS.

      Windows 95 was built on top of DOS and had a "boot to plain DOS" feature.

      Windows 98 was built on top of DOS and had a "boot to plain DOS" feature.

      Windows ME was built on top of DOS and had a "boot to plain DOS" feature that was hidden by default.

      hth.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:29AM (2 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @10:29AM (#634808) Homepage Journal

        My bad - I should have specified that DOS remained integral to the later Win9x OS's. The difference was, until Win95, you installed a DOS - basically any version of MSDOS - first, then installed Windows over top of that version of DOS. Memory grows a little fuzzy, but I think it was DOS 6.22 at the end, with DBLSPACE, and Win3.11 for me. But, all of the Win versions were equally happy sitting on DOS5, or DOS3.1.

        There were forum discussions at the time of Win95, 98, and 98SE about DOS7, but I'm not aware of anyone who ever got a DOS7 system working, separately from a Windows installation.

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        • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Thursday February 08 2018, @03:07PM (1 child)

          by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @03:07PM (#634943)

          I suppose it depends on what you mean by 'separately'. You could rig a Win9x installation to always boot in MS-DOS mode quite easily. Win9x also allowed you to create a bootable floppy which would boot plain vanilla DOS (7). Then just add your DOS-mode device drivers, etc...

          • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday February 09 2018, @05:17PM

            by Freeman (732) on Friday February 09 2018, @05:17PM (#635577) Journal

            This is what I did to get Ultima VII to run nicely on Win9X Machines. Then I found Exult, which by and large fixed the issue of being able to play Ultima VII on modern machines. Of course there's also DOSBox and FreeDOS now.

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