Windows Vista, Multimedia Codec Vulnerabilities Found - InformationWeek

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11/24/2008
07:12 PM
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Windows Vista, Multimedia Codec Vulnerabilities Found

Certain administrative rights are required for the vulnerability to be exploited, making it a risk primarily for malicious insider scenarios.

Security researchers at Phion AG, an Austrian firewall company, report that Windows Vista has a TCP/IP vulnerability that could allow a local attacker to take control of an affected system.

The vulnerability has been tested on Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise (32-bit and 64-bit) and Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit). The researches consider it likely that other versions of Vista are affected. Windows XP, however, is not affected.

Certain administrative rights are required for the vulnerability to be exploited. This makes it a risk primarily in malicious insider scenarios.

"To execute either the sample program or the route-add command, the user has to be member of the Network Configuration Operators group or the Administrators group," the security advisory explains. "Since this buffer overflow overwrites kernel memory, it could be possible that members of the Network Configuration Operator group exploit this and take control over the operating system without any restriction."

The advisory states that Phion notified Microsoft on Oct. 22. It's not immediately clear when Microsoft will address the issue. In any event, Phion's advisory includes details about a temporary fix.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese security research group Bach Khoa Internetwork Security (BKIS) has identified a buffer overflow vulnerability in the open source ffdshow multimedia codec that can be used compromise computers using any Internet browser in which the Windows Media Player plug-in has been installed.

The flaw has to do with the way the ffdshow software handles media streams. Upon parsing an extremely long link, ffdshow runs out of memory and returns a buffer-overflow error. This could be exploited by an attacker to execute remote code on the victim's computer.

A person visiting a malicious Web site using a browser with the vulnerable codec installed would be subject to attack without further action.

BKIS says that users should update to the latest version of ffdshow. That includes those using software packages that make use of ffdshow, like K-Lite Codec Pack, XP Codec Pack, Vista Codec Package, and Codec Pack All in one.

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