Expect attacks via latest Windows security hole

Susan bradley By Susan Bradley

Following Microsoft’s release last Friday of a critical, out-of-cycle patch, only sporadic reports of attacks based on this weakness have been received — but that may not last.

Apply the patch referred to in MS08-067 right away, because Trojan horses that take advantage of this security breach are sure to hit us soon.

MS08-067 (958644)
Microsoft monitors remote-access exploits

As I reported in last Friday’s special bulletin, everyone who uses Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 or later should download and install MS08-067 (patch 958644), which is a critical corrective for the OS.

The good news is that, so far, Window Secrets readers report few problems installing the patch. The small number of glitches they have encountered can be cleared up by uninstalling and then reinstalling the update.

In the meantime, the Microsoft Security Response Center blog reports that the company has detected malware authors discussing online how to take advantage of this vulnerability. However, at this writing, Microsoft says it hasn’t discovered any new threats that use this exploit to drop a Trojan on targeted systems.

There may not yet be any fast-moving worm built specifically to exploit this weakness. But the vulnerability is similar to the hole that was used by the MSBlaster worm, which surfaced on the Internet in 2003. So don’t let down your guard. Patch your PC if you haven’t already done so, because this exploit is sure to be the focus of malware authors before long.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2008-10-30:

Susan Bradley

About Susan Bradley

Susan Bradley is a Small Business Server and Security MVP, a title awarded by Microsoft to independent experts who do not work for the company. She's also a partner in a California CPA firm.