Microsoft Warns Of Spoofed Certificates - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Microsoft Warns Of Spoofed Certificates

Digital-certificate authority VeriSign Inc. issued two certificates in January to someone posing as a Microsoft employee, says a Microsoft spokeswoman. Armed with the certificates, the person could fool people into downloading a virus when they think they are getting Microsoft software. An FBI investigation into the matter is ongoing.

According to Microsoft, the unknown person was issued certificates Jan. 29 and 30. Legitimate certificates are meant to assure people that they are accepting patches and other software from a given company. Use of the bogus certificates could affect users of Windows 95, 98, Millennium Edition, NT 4.0, and 2000. VeriSign could not be reached at deadline.

Microsoft says that although VeriSign has revoked the certificates, it's impossible for browsers to verify the validity of the certificate. Microsoft says it is working on a fix for that problem.

Until the update is ready, Microsoft is urging all Windows users to carefully check all security-warning dialogue boxes for certificates issued either Jan. 29 or 30. Such boxes ask people if they want to install and run the program or files signed, for example, on 1/29/01 by Microsoft. No valid Microsoft certificates were issued on those dates. The company also suggests users install its Outlook E-mail Security Update, which stops malicious apps sent via E-mail from launching automatically, and its Office Document Open Confirmation Tool, which forces Web pages to request permission before opening Office documents.

Analysts say this incident shouldn't take away from the strengths of digital certificates as a security tool, but it does point to the weakness of the digital-certificate-assignment process. Says Hurwitz Group analyst Pete Lindstrom, the initial authentication process is "the Achilles heel" of public key infrastructure.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Remote Work Tops SF, NYC for Most High-Paying Job Openings
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/20/2021
Slideshows
Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Commentary
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll