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Microsoft Programming Security IT Technology

Microsoft Programming Contest Hacked and Defaced 151

davidmwilliams writes "Microsoft followed their major annual Tech-Ed event in Australia with a week-long programming contest called 'DevSta,' to find 'star developers.' While the quantity and quality of submissions suggest a poor turnout, it certainly caught the attention of at least two hackers who left their mark. Here is the low-down on the contest, what happened, by whom, and screen shots for posterity in case it's been fixed by the time you read this. And unless the volume of submissions increase dramatically within the next few hours, someone may be awarded an Xbox for doing nothing more than rewriting the Windows calculator as a .NET app."
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Microsoft Programming Contest Hacked and Defaced

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  • by duckInferno ( 1275100 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:22PM (#25280213) Journal

    This isn't news. If it were, it'd carry a headline like "Microsoft Programming Contest Security Thwarts Hackers" and be about how Microsoft employed some effective security measures without subjecting all applicants to activity-monitoring rootkit DRM and attendees to cavity-searches.
  • by Finallyjoined!!! ( 1158431 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:24PM (#25280233)
    Nobody wants an XBox that badly do they? :-)
  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:24PM (#25280237)
    So it's like all their other software then?
  • Screenshots dont look too spectacular - how do we know they didnt just create a bunch of accounts and post shit on their website.

    Or is that what passes off as hacking these days?
  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:26PM (#25280259) Homepage
    They really shouldn't be running HTTP daemons without SELinux running. Such services are just too popular a target.
  • by Punto ( 100573 ) <puntob@@@gmail...com> on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:29PM (#25280287) Homepage
    What about the guy who found a security hole on IIS and wrote and exploit for it? that sounds way cooler than rewriting calc.
  • Hardly hacked (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NeumannCons ( 798322 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:32PM (#25280317) Homepage

    To me it would appear that someone submitted entries with an bogus title and accompanying description. Hacked? Hardly. What surprises me is that no one submitted Viagra programs with accompanying links in the description.

    These aren't the droids you're looking for. Move along.

  • Lame (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:49PM (#25280461)

    If you want a prize, why not come up with a hack that releases OEMs from their contractual obligation to pre-load Windows? Or maybe a hack that dis-allows Microsoft from counting the sale of a Dell server with Linux installed as a sale of a Windows license. How about a hack that gives the ISO people a spine and some cojones?

    Now, those would be worth a prize.

    • Now, those would not be hacks. Feats worthy of praise they would be, but they would not be hacks.

  • by DougF ( 1117261 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @10:59PM (#25280531)
    If I write an app for Apple's iPhone, I run the chance of being denied, but I could make lots of $$$. If I write an app for MS, I could get some lovely departing gifts. Tough choice.
  • by subnomine ( 849148 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @11:10PM (#25280593)

    I speak from about 15 years experience at multiple companies and not bias that the more "Microsofty" the programmer is, the worse they are.
    The current project I am on is full of the Microsoft way of doing things. And get this:
    We have a Linux server and Windows client, and they designed a Windows Registry as an interface to the database on Linux. They are having piss-poor performance due to many design issues related to this thing. I should probably post it to Daily WTF. I mean WTF indeed.

    Who wants to be a Microsoft Star!! Wooohoo!

    • by Seakip18 ( 1106315 ) on Monday October 06, 2008 @11:27PM (#25280685) Journal

      Please do! As a young programmer starting out, I keep an eye on Daily WTF for what NOT to do. Well, most of the time anyways.

      The fact they use the registry as the interface makes my eye twitch.

      • by akoltz ( 1379875 )

        The fact they use the registry as the interface makes my eye twitch.

        The fact that you take an anti-MS post on /. at face value makes me sad for humans.

        • Oh sorry. Didn't see you there. You must be new.

          There has nothing to with MS, rather how, in my limited experience, coders would use the registry as the preferred interface. While I guess I could have been more clear is qualifying what I thought about Microsoft, this has nothing to do with them, but rather bad design. I think the OP had the same idea, though he clearly shows no love for MS.

          If you get sad from internet post, maybe this isn't the place for you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cjb658 ( 1235986 )

      I speak from about 15 years experience at multiple companies and not bias that the more "Microsofty" the programmer is, the worse they are.

      Works the same for users, too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Liquidrage ( 640463 )
        So what about the /. poster that spends post after post in meaningless MS stories, that if they actually ready them, aren't even stories?

        What I don't get is, as intelligent people (which is relative), don't some of you feel the least bit ashamed at the quality of the anti-MS stories here? There is plenty of legit bashing to do. But /. has fallen to the level of posting stuff like this.

        /. consistently has misleading headlines on MS stories, not to mention sensationalism. I just don't understand how peo
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by RulerOf ( 975607 )

      they designed a Windows Registry as an interface to the database on Linux.

      So wait, let me get this straight... these people know both Windows *and* Linux so well that they wrote a Windows Registry for Linux, rather than cutting the bullshit and using SQL?

      That sounds very... irresponsible.

      • Yes, "irresponsible." You have a way with words!

        Well...This is more of a hardware shop with Windows experience and the lead engineer doesn't know SQL. The database didn't need performance (until now).
        Updating each and every single variable means connecting to the database, authenticating, starting a transaction, committing, and disconnecting. Once per variable.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Bodrius ( 191265 )

          I'm sure you have other reasons to dislike it - but that sounds like a design mistake that has little to do with the 'registry-like' interface.

          I've seen the same 'feature' (commit on-change) on a lot of other naive user interfaces for remote database storage - web forms, spreadsheets, desktop clients... Typically the product of good intentions, and very optimistic assumptions about the usage.

          There's nothing magical about a 'registry-like' tree that makes explicit batch updates impossible - or on other inter

      • I don't think you could use SQL that well - I mean, the registry is hierarchically organized, so you would have to use a hierarchical DB like *shudder* LDAP.

        OR you just could plain text files and store them in specified directories.

    • by deniable ( 76198 )

      Would you care to explain what you mean by "Windows Registry." You're not talking about the actual Registry or hive files are you? It would be possible to build a service that monitored the local hive and replicated the changes to a back end DB. It could get ugly, but would make for an interesting product.

      If you simply mean a tree-like data structure then I can see what you're talking about, but I've seen that kind of retardation in Unix software as well. It's not a Microsoft only phenomenon.

      If they were re

    • by eagee ( 1308589 )
      >>>"Microsofty" the programmer is

      I think what you're trying to say is the more a programmer buys into *hype* the worse they are.

      I work in an Microsoft shop, I don't especially like using linux, and I enjoy the luxuries M$ products have to offer. That doesn't make me a bad programmer.

      What makes someone a bad programmer is if they make design decisions based on what sounds cool instead of what makes sense (or if they put that stupid "_" in front of my member variables instead of using "this.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    1. Microsoft Programming Contest Hacked and Defaced.
    2. Story posted to Slashdot and nobody cares.
    3. Posting Anonymously to protect my kharma - priceless.
  • It's no Atari Computer Camp, that's for sure. For one thing, I heard there was actually a female applicant.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I want to see the calculator wins, it would be damn funny if the STAR application is the calculator.
  • I had now idea this contest was going on. I'd have been happy to enter. Throwing together something small, but better than a .Net calculator, for a chance at a free XBox? Absolutely!

    Way to go, Microsoft Marketing dept!
  • It's more than JUST an xbox.

    The grand prize on offer includes airfare to Las Vegas, accommodation at the Venetian and tickets to the MIX09 Developer Conference in March next year, along with Visual Studio 2008, an Xbox 360 Elite console pack and a Samsung Omnia mobile phone. Runners up win various combinations of Visual Studio, Xbox 360 Elite packs and Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 keyboard and mouse combos.

  • by benjymouse ( 756774 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @01:37AM (#25281681)
    HACKED BY BENJYMOUSE HACKED BY BENJYMOUSE HACKED BY BENJYMOUSE There, now I "hacked" slashdot the very same way. The "hacked" and "defaced" site is nothing more than submissions (like comments on slashdot) with "HACKED BY OVERLORD" text. No JavaScript injection, no SQL injection, no nothing. Some medias will go to any length to capture traffic. sheesh.
    • by Patrik_AKA_RedX ( 624423 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @02:22AM (#25282019) Journal
      The Headlines:
      A hacker known by the name BENJYMOUSE has today been arrested for defacing a popular news site. The 2 SWAT teams were deemed necessary as hackers are known to be armed and dangerouse and usualy in company of muslim terrorists. Only 2400 rounds were fired and a mere 25 bystanders were killed. Rumors that the terrorist-hacker was playing a loud videogame instead of firing his as yet undiscovered arsenal of weapons show that these terrorists are not just evil, but also lazy.

      The hacker will be put on trail for possesion of illegal invisible weapons of mass destruction.
    • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) * on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @02:26AM (#25282047)

      commodoresloat writes "Slashdot followed their major annual asteroid-collision article with an article called 'Microsoft Programming Contest Hacked and Defaced.' While the quantity and quality of posts suggest a poor turnout, it certainly caught the attention of a hacker named 'BENJYMOUSE' who left his mark. Here is the low-down on the slashdot post, what happened, by whom, and screen shots for posterity in case it's been fixed by the time you read this. And unless the quality of posts increase dramatically within the next few hours, someone may be awarded mod points for doing nothing more than rewriting the *BSD troll as an anti-M$ post."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by I.M.O.G. ( 811163 )

      "F-" ...I'm concerned, please see me after class!

      Just kidding... But actually, its slightly more impressive than you noticed. They modified existing submissions thereby appearing as the top submission. While not groundbreaking, its more than simply posting garbled messages to a public board.

    • by Synjyn ( 1379989 )
      It seems any tiny bit of news can be sensationalised into something to grab headlines these days
  • My favorite submission was posted by Captain Obvious and his uber cool "windows media radio 4 windows mobile" application.

    The past: Listening mp3s
    The future: Listening streaming music.

    Watch out Apple!
  • DevSta? Seriously? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by paniq ( 833972 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @05:11AM (#25282985) Homepage

    This is what we need in the programming world, more developers with an ego complex. "Star developers", way to go, when a part of skill lies deeply in being able to communicate and organize oneself in a community or company.

    "Star developers" sounds like these people need three flatscreen monitors, a massage chair and a personal makeup assistant to be happy.

    The reason why no serious programmers will turn up at this event is the same reason, why I'm not at this event: I am busy doing serious, real life code. I have no time for marketing shams.

    • If you are not good enough to get the best work enviroment possible, then well, that sucks for you.

      I doubt you are even a decent developer anyway, flatscreen monitors? Hello? Can you even buy CRT's anymore that are cheaper then totally flat LCD's.

      If your boss did a cost/benefit study he would quickly realize that a good chair and interface pays for itself. A good chair allows you to remain comfortably seated for longer. Same with a quiet office, more hours spend coding means more money made. Three screens

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jesus_666 ( 702802 )
      Now that's just mean. I happen to be a star developer and I tell you it's hard work. If you don't balance mass vs. density, hydrogen vs. deuterium vs. tritium vs. helium etc. just right you end up with something that blows up or goes brown dwarf in a couple dozen myriads alredy. Developing a solid (ha!) star that keeps burning for millions of years (without the spectral lines creeping out of spec, to boot) is pretty difficult, really.

      Star development really should become an engineering job and I don't thi
      • Nah, stars are easy. Its the planets that take work - ever seen what it takes to make a good fjord or two?

        • If you think fjords are easy you never had to tweak a star's chemistry to get the protuberances just right. That's not to say a good fjord doesn't deserve recognition, though.
  • !hacked (Score:2, Funny)

    by DarkTitan_X ( 905442 )
    I had my organization's site "hacked" the same way three weeks ago.

    Had I known it were news, I'd have contacted local news media rather than the modest response of contacting my web hosting provider and asking that they patch the vulnerability in their SQL server.

  • After working for Microsoft, I had a lowered respect for them, but now after this kind of chickenshit stuff, I have new found respect for them (unless its an inside job). Its creating thats challenging, destroying is easy. Most any engineer won't crack, because they create, not destroy, when in fact they can cause the most havoc, but its not worth it due to integrity, and the fact that its too easy.

(null cookie; hope that's ok)