Homeland Security: Fix your Windows (XP that is)


V

Virus Guy

http://news.com.com/2100-7348_3-6103805.html

By Joris Evers
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Published: August 9, 2006, 10:37 AM PDT

In a rare alert, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has urged
Windows users to plug a potential worm hole in the Microsoft operating
system.

("->The<-" Micro$haft operating system? Which one? Oh right - XP)

The agency, which also runs the United States Computer Emergency
Readiness Team (US-CERT), sent out a news release on Wednesday
recommending that people apply Microsoft's MS06-040 patch as quickly
as possible. The software maker released the "critical" fix Tuesday as
part of its monthly patch cycle.

"Users are encouraged to avoid delay in applying this security patch,"
the Department of Homeland Security said in the statement. The patch
fixes a serious flaw that, if exploited, could enable an attacker to
remotely take complete control of an affected system, the agency said.

Microsoft on Tuesday issued a dozen security bulletins, nine of which
were tagged "critical," the company's highest severity rating.
However, the flaw addressed in MS06-040 is the only one among the
updates that could let an anonymous attacker remotely commandeer a
Windows PC without any user interaction.

The flaw has some similarities to the Windows bug that enabled the
notorious MSBlast worm to spread in 2003. Both security
vulnerabilities are related to a Windows component called "remote
procedure call," which provides support for networking features such
as file sharing and printer sharing.

"Blaster took advantage of a vulnerability in the same service. We
recognize that this is something that is easily exploitable," said
Amol Sarwate, the manager of vulnerability research lab at Qualys. "It
is excellent that DHS sent out this alert, because I think a lot of
people are vulnerable."

Microsoft has seen a "very limited attack" that already used the newly
disclosed flaw, the software maker said Tuesday.

(LOL)

Overnight, some hacker toolkits were updated with code that allows
researchers (researchers? you mean hackers?) to check for the flaw
and exploit it, said Neel Mehta, a security expert at Internet
Security Systems in Atlanta.

"This is a very serious vulnerability," Mehta said. "At the moment,
this exploit is being used in targeted attacks to compromise specific
systems. However, there is nothing about the nature of the
vulnerability that prevents it from being used in a much more
widespread fashion as part of a worm."

Microsoft worked with the Department of Homeland Security on the
alert, a company representative said. "Microsoft...encourages
customers to deploy this update on their systems as soon as possible,
given that we are aware of targeted exploitation of the
vulnerability," the representative said.

Microsoft deems the vulnerability critical for all versions of
Windows. However, users of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and Windows
Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 should be protected by the Windows
Firewall if they do not use file sharing and printer sharing,
Christopher Budd, a security program manager at Microsoft, said in an
interview Tuesday.

The Microsoft updates are available via the Windows Update and
Automatic Updates tools as well as from Microsoft's Web site.
Temporary workarounds are outlined in the security bulletins for those
who can't immediately apply the patches.
 
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E

Ed

Virus said:
"Users are encouraged to avoid delay in applying this security patch,"
the Department of Homeland Security said in the statement. The patch
fixes a serious flaw that, if exploited, could enable an attacker to
remotely take complete control of an affected system, the agency said.

It has been reported that on Windows 2003, KB921883 prevents Microsoft
Dynamics Navision (an EPR system) from starting. As you can see, the
patch has been thoroughly tested against their own server products...
 
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G

Gabriele Neukam

"Users are encouraged to avoid delay in applying this security patch,"
the Department of Homeland Security said in the statement. The patch
fixes a serious flaw that, if exploited, could enable an attacker to
remotely take complete control of an affected system, the agency said.

If I only knew, what these "Server Services" really are (filename?). The
only information that is provided by Microsoft is, that it is related to
networking and drive/printer sharing, and works over the well known
ports 135, 139 and 445. Which means, it is the *basis* of all networking
in general, or am I wrong?

It looks like a worm based on that exploit would be causing even more
damage than the Bugbear and the Blaster/Sasser pestilences that hit us
a few years ago.


Gabriele Neukam

(e-mail address removed)
 

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