Researcher Finds Media Player Flaws Options (FWD)

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

The Christian Science Monitor          

Aug 2, 2007

Researcher Finds Media Player Flaws

By JORDAN ROBERTSON AP Technology Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Media players in personal computers have
serious vulnerabilities that could allow online criminals to
attach malicious code and infect computers without the user's
knowledge, a researcher said Thursday.

As a result, audio and video downloads can be turned into
digital weapons that hackers could use to hijack or corrupt
computers, said David Thiel, senior security consultant with
San Francisco-based researcher iSEC Partners.

Thiel, who exposed the flaws on relatively obscure open-source
media players during a presentation at the Black Hat hacker
conference, said he has found several flaws in popular
commercial players. But he declined to provide their brand
names because, he says, he is still disclosing the exploits to
the companies so they can issue fixes.

He isn't aware of any current attacks using the
vulnerabilities he's discovered but said they're hard to

"The actual potential for attack is reasonably severe because
nobody cares about actually playing videos from YouTube or
playing music on Web pages - you can't get music to stop
playing at you," he said. "Because this stuff is launched
automatically, I think the impact could be significant."

Paul Proctor, a research vice president with Gartner Inc.,
said Thiel's findings could pressure companies to investigate
flaws in their media players and patch them quickly.

Hackers have targeted media players before, Proctor said, but
Thiel's attacks appear to infiltrate the machines more deeply
and circumvent traditional Internet safeguards.

Thiel unveiled a new program using a technique called
"fuzzing" - corrupting the files used in applications in a
controlled way to find exploitable bugs - to identify
weaknesses in various media players.

"This is a new frontier for hacks," Proctor said. "The
straightforward, basic truth is that companies that make media
players of all types will have to become as vigilant."

Thiel and other programmers are exposing security
vulnerabilities during the two-day Black Hat conference and
will continue doing so at the three-day Defcon convention that
starts here Friday. So-called "white hat" hackers present
flaws to alert companies that their products are vulnerable to
pranks or serious attacks by malicious or "black hat" hackers.

Jeff Moss, director of Black Hat, said conference organizers
picked Thiel to present his findings because digital audio and
video files are becoming phenomenally popular on YouTube,
MySpace and other social networking sites.

"This is the next logical place to attack," Moss said. "People
know not to open strange documents, but they click on MP3s all
day long."

"The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave" by Heather MacDonald
See the COLOSSAL costs of illegal aliens to the American taxpayer:
"Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada"
("For The Race everything, for those outside The Race nothing")

-- Motto of MEChA, one of the nation's largest publically-funded
organizations with cells on high school and college campuses across the USA
(Note: Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez says he "used to be" a member)
:How Eisenhower solved illegal border crossings from Mexico;
By John Dillin


  :General Eisenhower ... quoted a report in The New York Times,
highlighting one paragraph that said: .The rise in illegal border-crossing
by Mexican 'wetbacks' to a current rate of more than
1,000,000 cases a year has been accompanied by a curious relaxation
in ethical standards extending all the way from the farmer-exploiters
of this contraband labor to the highest levels of the Federal
Government ..."

  :Herbert Brownell Jr., Eisenhower's first attorney general, said the
president had a sense of urgency about illegal immigration when he took

  :America .was faced with a breakdown in law enforcement on a very large
scale,・ Mr. Brownell said. .When I say large scale, I mean hundreds of
thousands were coming in from Mexico [every year] without restraint.・"
Just two of MANY American cops murdered by illegals:
"Unfortunately, the majority of illegal aliens who are here are engaged in
criminal activity. Identity theft, use of fraudulent Social Security
numbers and green cards, tax evasion, driving without licenses represent
some of the crimes that are engaged in by the majority of illegal aliens on
a daily basis merely to maintain and hide their illegal status. In
addition, violent crime and drug distribution and possession is also
prevalent among illegal aliens. Over 25% of today's federal prison
population are illegal aliens. In some areas of the country, 12% of
felonies, 25% of burglaries and 34% of thefts are committed by illegal

  -- Testimony of District Attorney John M. Morganelli before the House
Subcommittee on Immigration, Border, Security and Claims [Note: 99% of
warrants for murder in Los Angeles, California -- the USA's 2nd
most-populous city -- are for illegal aliens]

"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate,
tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of
   -- Samuel Adams

":All great truths begin as heresies.;

  -- Former Democrat Governor of Colorado Richard Lamm, official of
      Defend Colorado Now, a movement opposed to illegal immigration
      and public services for illegal aliens

  If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is
then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of
self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government ... The
citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert,
without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair ...
The natural strength of the people in a large community, in
proportion to the artificial strength of the government, is greater than in
a small, and of course more competent to a struggle with the
attempts of the government to establish a tyranny ... the people, without
exaggeration, may be said to be entirely the masters of their
own fate.

  -- Alexander Hamilton

  The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain
occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any
government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government
by the majority who participate.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to
remain silent.
  -- Thomas Jefferson

  Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people
alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of
principle, stand like a rock.
  -- Thomas Jefferson

  No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to
keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves
against tyranny in government.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show
them we can fight like men also.  

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks
and Romans, and must be that of every free state.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will
delineate and define you.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not
constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied
corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial
by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties
than standing armies.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own
kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the
rich on the poor.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

  Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government
those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations,  
perverted it into tyranny.

  -- Thomas Jefferson

Site Timeline