Hackers publish attack code for last week's Windows bug

Exploit code has gone public and is being used in additional attacks.

Just a day after downplaying the vulnerability that caused it to issue an out-of-cycle patch last week, Microsoft late Monday warned customers that exploit code had gone public and is being used in additional attacks.

"We've identified the public availability of exploit code that now shows code execution for the vulnerability addressed by MS08-067," said Mike Reavey, operations manager of Microsoft's Security Response Center, in a post to the MSRC blog Monday evening. "This exploit code has been shown to result in remote code execution on Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000."

Microsoft also posted a security advisory to its Web site that outlined the new threat.

On Tuesday, a company spokesman declined to specify where Microsoft had found the attack code, saying only that the new warning came after Microsoft became "aware of detailed, reliable, public exploit code." He also confirmed that the warning stemmed from code published to the Web, not the appearance of an exploit module in a proprietary penetration testing application.

Just the day before, another Microsoft employee had downplayed the threat posed by the bug in the Windows Server service that Microsoft patched last week -- outside its regularly once-a-month schedule. "We are aware that people are working to develop reliable public exploit code for the vulnerability," acknowledged Christopher Budd, a spokesman for the MSRC, in an entry he wrote Sunday. "We are aware of discussion about code posted on a public site, but our analysis has shown that code always results in a denial of service.

"So far, we've not seen evidence of public, reliable exploit code showing code execution," Budd concluded.

Previously, Microsoft said that it discovered the vulnerability after a small number of attacks had resulted in infections by an information-stealing Trojan, which it dubbed "Win32/MS08067.gen!A" and third-party anti-virus vendors tagged with their own names. Symantec Corp., for example, called it "Trojan.Gimmiv.".

It was unclear whether the just-published exploit code that Microsoft referenced Monday was in fact the same exploit used in those earlier attacks.

Monday, Reavey repeated earlier Microsoft assertions that attacks remained scattered. "Attacks are still limited and targeted, even with the release of this new exploit code," he said. "The malware situation remains the same, as we've not seen any self-replicating worms, but instead malware that would be classified as Trojans, specifically the malware we discussed when we released the security update on Thursday."

Users who have deployed the patch presented by MS08-067 last week are safe from attack by the published exploit, Reavey added.

The security bulletin that spells out the vulnerability is available on Microsoft's site, and the patch can be downloaded manually or retrieved using the company's Windows Update service.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Windows 2000windows server 2003xp

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 Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?