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Monday, 14 March 2011 11:03

Windows hammered by exploit

Written by Nick Farell
microsoft

Microsoft knew of the problem in January
A hole in Windows, which Microsoft has failed to fix since January, is being hammered by hackers.

The actual flaw is with the MHTML protocol handler in Windows and it can only be exploited if the user is running Internet Explorer. Hackers using cross-site scripting attacks have been intercepting and collect user information, spoofing the content that is displayed to the browser, or interfering with the user's browsing.

When the hack was revealed in January, no one thought it posed any particular threat. Andrew Storms, director of security operations for nCircle, told the world+dog that although the flaw affects every supported Windows platform, carrying out an attack using this complicated cross site scripting-like bug will not be easy.

Six weeks later attacks using the flaw are being made. According to a post on the Google Online Security Blog the attacks are politically motivated.

Microsoft has issued an advisory to deal with the problem but seems no closer to fixing the hole.


Nick Farell

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