Hacker taunts Microsoft with another attack

The 19-year-old student said he uploaded a file called oopsididitagain.htm to http://events.microsoft.com. The contents of the file read, "Patching your systems is very hard, huh," and were displayed on the Microsoft site in large font. In a smaller font, Dimitri complemented his idol Britney Spears for a pop concert she gave last Saturday, saying, "MSG to Britney Spears: I loved your concert in the Netherlands."

By about 5.20 PM US EST Microsoft had apparently got wind of the second hack. The company removed the file and, according to Dimitri, patched the security hole.

Asked why he had broken into Microsoft's server for a second time, Dimitri said, "Microsoft systems engineers just don't bother securing their networks. The only thing they did on Friday was remove the file I left. Basically they lied about applying patches."

Officials at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, didn't immediately return a call seeking comments. A Microsoft spokesman in Europe was unable to confirm whether the company's site had once again been hacked.

On Friday, Dimitri penetrated the same Web server and left a short text-file -- Hack The planet -- boasting of the hack. After removing the file, a Microsoft spokesman said at the time that Microsoft security personnel were rechecking their servers for holes to patch. Besides hacking into Microsoft's server, Dimitri on Tuesday also got in touch with Microsoft Nederland, Microsoft's Dutch branch. The company had requested Dimitri to do so. "We want to start a dialog with Dimitri," Michiel Gosens, a spokesman for Microsoft in the Netherlands, said Tuesday. "We would like to know why Dimitri feels he needs to challenge us this way."

Gosens has informed Microsoft's Redmond headquarters about his proposed meeting with Dimitri. Redmond has yet to reply to Gosens about the topic, however. Gosens said he plans to schedule a meeting for next week with Dimitri and a Microsoft Netherlands product services manager.

Dimitri said he was able to upload files to Microsoft's Web server because the company had failed to install a patch for a know bug in its Internet Information Server (IIS) software. Microsoft first patched this security hole on August 10, and issued another security bulletin on October 17 pointing customers to the same patch. On its TechNet Web site, Microsoft refers to the bug as the "Web Server Folder Traversal" vulnerability.

On Friday, a Microsoft spokesman in Redmond said the server Dimitri hacked was in semi-retirement, redirecting visitors to another area of the network with more updated content.

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Joris Evers

PC World

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