[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[ISN] Windows Small Business Server at risk from critical flaw
By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
January 24, 2008
Microsoft said Wednesday that another one of its operating system
products is vulnerable to a critical vulnerability, first patched two
In an update to its MS08-001 security bulletin, Microsoft said that the
latest release of Windows Small Business Server was also critically at
risk from a bug in Windows' networking software.
The flaw is also considered critical for Windows XP and Vista users.
Microsoft did not say why it had initially omitted Small Business Server
from its list of critically affected operating systems, but it said that
the product's users were being offered patches via Microsoft's various
automatic update services. "Customers with Windows Small Business Server
2003 Service Pack 2 should apply the update to remain secure," Microsoft
said in its updated bulletin.
The bug lies in the way Windows processes networking traffic that uses
IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) and MLD (Multicast Listener
Discovery) protocols, which are used to send data to many systems at the
same time. Microsoft said that an attacker could send specially crafted
packets to a victim's machine, which could then allow the attacker to
run unauthorized code on a system.
Microsoft rates the flaw as "important" for Windows Server 2003, meaning
that it would be more difficult for attackers to exploit the flaw on
this operating system.
Security experts are paying particular attention to this vulnerability
because it could be exploited by attackers to create a self-replicating
The flaw is not being exploited in online attacks, but last week
researchers at penetration-testing-software vendor Immunity made a
sample exploit available to their customers. That software causes an
unpatched system to crash, but the company is close to developing code
that could be used to install unauthorized software on a victim's
computer, according to Immunity chief technology officer Dave Aitel.
Aitel said it's no surprise that the small business version of Windows
Server 2003 is at risk.
"I assumed most 2003 servers in the real world were vulnerable," he said
via instant message. "Windows Server 2003 by default does not have any
multicast addresses active and would not be affected by this
vulnerability. However, installing applications that use multicasting
could cause the operating system to become vulnerable."
He said that Microsoft could help its customers by giving them more
details on how to avoid being at risk to this problem. "What features
can I enable on Windows Server 2003 to become vulnerable?" he asked.
Subscribe to InfoSec News