Security Advisor

Security Firm Willing To Sell Windows 8 Hole to Highest Bidder

According to Vupen, a French security firm specializing in locating and reporting on zero-day flaws, said it had found a way to bypass security features in Microsoft's  latest OS and Internet Explorer 10 that could lead to a remote code execution via a malicious Web site.

"We have researched and discovered multiple vulnerabilities in Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10 that we have combined together to achieve a full remote code execution via a Web page which bypasses the new exploit-mitigation technologies included in Win8," Vupen Chief Executive Chaouki Bekrar told Computerworld.

The announcement of the newly discovered flaw was made on Friday over Twitter: "Our first 0day for Win8+IE10 with HiASLR/AntiROP/DEP & Prot Mode sandbox bypass (Flash not needed) is ready for customers. Welcome #Windows8"

Microsoft said that it had seen the message and has declined to comment on the matter until more information could be gathered.

It is important to note that the security firm makes its money by discovering software vulnerabilities and then selling the information to the highest bidder -- there is no guarantee that the information, if true, will end up in the hands of Microsoft security researchers.

Also important is the exploit method used; Vupen said that it had to string together multiple vulnerabilities together to exploit many new security features of Windows 8.

While Windows 8 does come packed with some improved security features, nobody thought that the OS would be 100 percent bullet proof. And it speaks volumes to the type of strides Microsoft has made in the fact that it sounds like  no easy feat to pull off Vupen's supposed vulnerability.

I'd shed some more details, but I'm not willing to pay the ransom money -- er, the disclosure cost -- to find out more.

Been using Windows 8? How does it stack up against older versions when it comes to security? Let me know in the comments below or send your responses to .

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for and

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Nov 14, 2012 XP user

Are you saying that capitalism does not work and companies should not sell their products to maximize their profits? Security firm is not obligated to make you more secure, their job is to deal with security whether it works for or against you. If they, as a commercial for-profit entity, want to get paid for what they found out, highest bidder is always the one they should go to, whether it is Microsoft, Hackers United or whatever else may be out there.

Tue, Nov 13, 2012

Looks like windows patched this hole with today's updates.. i guess either Microsoft bought the info or either discovered it on their own.

Thu, Nov 8, 2012 Sean

Isn't that like blackmail? Is blackmail legal in France?

Thu, Nov 8, 2012 80s Rocker

Vupen is not a reputable security firm, they are no better than everyday hackers. A reputable security firms hands this information over to the company affect so they can fix it before other find it and exploit it. I think that if the person/group they sell the information to uses it to cause damage, then consumers/businesses should be able to be hold Vupen responsible for any damages caused by them selling the information. Maybe a couple of law suits against them will make it unprofitable to make money selling exploits to the highest bidder.

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 Christopher D. Bell Glossop, UK

Vupen seem to have rediscovered the business tactics of the Mafia. Viva la revolution.

Wed, Nov 7, 2012 xpforever mke

Ransom is right. I can't believe a security firm would be so despicable as to sell the flaw potentially to criminals. What the heck kind of security firm is that? I'm sorry but the people in charge of that company should be arrested for attempting to collect a ransom for hacking info.

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