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?

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...

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?