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Microsoft Patches Flaw That Could Trigger Worm Attack


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Major Payne

Major Payne

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Microsoft has fixed a critical flaw in the Windows operating system that could be used by criminals to create a self-copying computer worm attack.

The software vendor released its first set of patches for 2008 on Tuesday, fixing a pair of networking flaws in the Windows kernel. Microsoft also released a second update for a less-serious Windows flaw that would allow attackers to steal passwords or run Windows software with elevated privileges.

The critical 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 says 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.

Security experts say that there is no known code that exploits this flaw, but now that the patch has been posted, hackers can reverse-engineer the fix and develop their own attack code.


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