After buggy patch, criminals exploit Windows flaw

Microsoft had to re-release its MS010-025 security update -- now it's being exploited by hackers

Online criminals are scanning the Internet and attacking Windows 2000 machines that haven't had a recent Windows Media Service patch installed, Symantec said Wednesday.

Symantec first spotted the attacks on Monday, saying that they are extremely limited. Symantec's detection network picked up just a handful of attempts, but the code used in the attacks is new and gives hackers a way to take over a system.

The attacks are the latest development in a troublesome patch for Microsoft. The company released its MS010-025 update on April 13, but was forced to reissue the patch two weeks later after discovering that its original patch didn't fix the problem.

The Metasploit open-source hacking toolkit has published code that exploits the flaw, but whoever is behind these attacks isn't using that software, Symantec Security Intelligence Manager Joshua Talbot, said in an interview Wednesday. "Somebody's done some homework on their own and developed their own exploit," he said.

When the attack works -- Symantec says that it often doesn't and simply causes the victim's computer to crash -- the attacker uploads several password logging tools, and also enables remote desktop access.

Because the attack only works on Windows 2000 users who have not blocked the Windows Media Service's port 1755 at the firewall, the vast majority of Microsoft's customers have nothing to fear.

"It's interesting to know that someone out there is taking the time to write an exploit for this and then scan for uncommon configurations," Talbot said. "People should keep that in mind, even though this isn't necessarily a very high-profile issue."

Microsoft couldn't immediately be reached for comment about the attacks.

Robert McMillan can be reached at robert_mcmillan@idg.com. He is on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/bobmcmillan

Tags patchingsymantecWindows 2000security

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?