Washington Post: Microsoft Coding Tweaks Netscape

[ Thanks to Kevin
for this link. ]

“Microsoft Corp. found itself deluged yesterday with calls from
around the world after a newspaper reported that the software
giant’s engineers had tucked a secret password into its software –
the sentence “Netscape engineers are weenies!” typed backward. The
password could be used “to gain illicit access to hundreds of
thousands of Internet sites world-wide,” the article said, allowing
evildoers to alter pages or get access to information stored in Web
sites, such as credit-card numbers.”

“Worse, the beleaguered software company acknowledged that the
report – in the Wall Street Journal – was true.”

“Trouble is, it wasn’t true. But even Microsoft didn’t know that
at first….”

As Microsoft learned when it finally got a chance to
examine the surprising wrinkle in its software, however, the
supposed back door had security measures built in. It works only if
the system administrator has given the user explicit permission. A
back door, perhaps, but one that still requires a key.

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