Separated at birth: WMF and ANI bugs compared

The recent ANI file bug has more than a passing similarity to the late-2005 Windows Metafile (WMF) flaw

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

In the world of Windows vulnerabilities, that maxim proved out during the recent sweep of the animated cursor (ANI) file bug, which has more than a passing similarity to a major malware outbreak based on the late-2005 Windows Metafile (WMF) flaw.

With some researchers calling ANI the most dangerous Windows vulnerability since WMF -- and security vendors such as Websense tracking nearly 500 Web sites distributing an ANI exploit -- it seemed only natural to bring out the virtual tape and see how the two measure up.

Our take: Eerie, ain't it?

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld

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WMFANI
News first breaksDec. 28, 2005March 28, 2007
Microsoft posts security advisoryDec. 28, 2005March 29, 2007
AffectsWindows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 [Vista more than 12 months from consumer release]Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server, Vista
First used byMalicious Web sitesMalicious Web sites
Problem cropped up/patched before?Yes, last patched in MS05-053 (1 month before)Yes, last patched in MS05-002 (2 years, 3 months before)
Spam containing exploit toutsHappy New Year!Hot Pictures of Britney Spears!
Exploit construction kit released so anyone can be a cyber-cretinYes, within 6 days of news breakingYes, within 4 days of news breaking
Unsanctioned, unofficial third-party patches released before Microsoft's fix byIlfak GuilfanovZERT (Zeroday Emergency Response Team), eEye Digital Security, Determina
Microsoft patches on:Jan. 5, 2006April 3, 2007
Patch rated asCriticalCritical
# of days between news and patch release8 days6 days
Microsoft releases out-of-cycleYesYes
Microsoft said:"Our analysis and guidance has been consistent that although the attacks are serious, they have been fairly stable in terms of spread." -- Debby Fry Wilson, director, Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), Jan. 6. 2006"Our indications...show there is a threat for attacks against this vulnerability to increase, although we haven't seen anything widespread." -- Christopher Budd, program manager, MSRC, April 3, 2007
Still used in attacks?#11 on Kaspersky Lab's Top 20 for March 2007Stay tuned...