News
News
12/29/2005
02:23 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

How To Beat Back The New Zero-Day Windows Bug

Workarounds include disabling the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, the application that Internet Explorer automatically launches to display WMF image files.

On Wednesday, several security companies recommended that users and companies also block access to the sites known to be using the exploit. Sunbelt Software posted a list of some of the sites -- which included the most prominent, iFrameurl [dot] biz -- but with the exploit being used by an ever-increasing number of malicious and/or spyware sites, the technique will soon be impossible to implement manually.

"Yesterday only a few of the sites we monitor used this exploit," wrote Eric Sites, vice president of research at Sunbelt, "but now that number is exploding." (Another security vendor, San Diego-based Websense, said Thursday that "thousands of sites" were distributing exploit code from iFramecash [dot] biz.)

Users can also ditch Internet Explorer for Firefox or Opera. The vulnerability isn't within IE itself, but that browser does open WMF files automatically without asking permission from the user. Firefox and Opera at least put up a dialog box asking the user if he or she wants to open the file with Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. Using Firefox or Opera, however, doesn't guarantee that a PC is immune, since a malicious WMF file could still be introduced via e-mail.

Finally, said Microsoft, users should keep their anti-virus defenses up to date, since most are or soon will provide signatures for the exploits taking advantage of the vulnerability. As of mid-day Thursday, for example, all the major anti-virus vendors had released some signatures.

But that, too, may not completely defend against the threat. By late Wednesday, Sunbelt Software had detected more than 50 exploit variants.

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July10, 2014
When selecting servers to support analytics, consider data center capacity, storage, and computational intensity.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join InformationWeek’s Lorna Garey and Mike Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, an engineering and research firm focused on maximizing technology investments, to discuss the right way to go digital.
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.