IoT
News
News
12/28/2005
02:51 PM
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
The Analytics Job and Salary Outlook for 2016
Jan 28, 2016
With data science and big data top-of-mind for all types of organizations, hiring analytics profes ...Read More>>

Attackers Exploit New Zero-Day Windows Bug

A new unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft Windows and an in-the-wild exploit appear as security firms raise their alarms to critical.

A new unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft Windows and an in-the-wild exploit appeared Wednesday as security firms raised their alarms to Critical.

The bug is in Windows' rendering of Windows Metafile (WMF) images, a component that's been patched three times in the last two years, most recently in November by the bulletin MS05-053. The newest flaw, however, is different enough from November's that fully-patched Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 machines can be compromised.

"This exploit is doing something a bit different," said Shane Coursen, a senior technical analyst with Moscow-based Kaspersky Labs. "It looks like it affects the same DLL as MS05-053, but it's not overflowing the buffer." According to Microsoft's MS05-053 bulletin, the November vulnerability was in an unchecked buffer.

Microsoft would only acknowledge that it's looking into the problem, the usual response from the Redmond, Wash.-based developer to news of zero-day exploits of its software.

"Microsoft is investigating new public reports of a possible vulnerability in Windows and will continue to investigate the public reports to help provide additional guidance for customers," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "Upon completion of this investigation, Microsoft will take the appropriate action, which may include providing a fix through our monthly release process or issuing a security advisory, depending on customer needs."

Security and vulnerability tracking companies' reactions were more dramatic: they immediately raised alert levels, both because the flaw was an unpatched "zero-day" bug, and also because exploits were already out and about. Danish security company Secunia, for instance, tagged the new flaw as "Extremely critical," its highest warning; Symantec, meanwhile, gave it a rating of 9.4 on its 10-point scale for vulnerability alerts.

Multiple Web sites, said Ken Dunham, the director of Reston, Va.-based iDefense's rapid response team, are using a working exploit to compromise Windows machines. Attackers need only to cajole users into visiting sites planted with malicious WMF files, or get them to open such image files sent as e-mail attachments.

"WMF exploitation has taken off in the past twelve hours," said Dunham. "It's likely that WMF exploitation will be very successful in the near term."

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Knock Down Barriers to Effective Risk Management
Risk management today is a hodgepodge of systems, siloed approaches, and poor data collection practices. That isn't how it should be.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.