A German hacker organisation hit the headlines last week, when it demonstrated an online theft on German TV, using a Microsoft Active X control.
The Chaos Computer Club configured an Active X control to execute a bogus money transfer order on a PC running a personal finance application, thereby stealing money from the PC owner?s account.
Microsoft subsequently contacted the hackers and asked them to hand over the offending code, but they refused and said it would be published in the 20 February issue of their publication, IX Multiuser Magazine.
Mike Pryke-Smith, Microsoft?s Internet tools manager, said the Chaos Computer Club had not actually undertaken a real theft, but had simply set up the situation as a publicity stunt to promote itself.
He added: ?This type of thing has come up before with the Exploder control. But, any executable can cause this type of mischief, not just Active X. It highlights that users should be aware that executables can be harmful, and it?s up to them to decide whether they want to trust them, particularly if they don?t carry a digital signature, which this didn?t.?
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