DirectX flaws put Windows systems at risk, MS warns

Two security bugs in DirectX, a part of the Windows operating system that provides multimedia support, could allow an attacker to gain control over computers running it, Microsoft Corp. warned Wednesday.

DirectX is flawed in the way it checks MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) music files, Microsoft said in security bulletin MS03-030. An attacker could take advantage of the flaws by hosting a specially crafted MIDI file on a Web site or sending that file in an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) e-mail, the vendor said. (See:http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-030.asp)

DirectX is part of most currently supported versions of Windows, including Windows 98, Windows XP and Windows 2000. Exceptions are Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition, which are only vulnerable if Windows Media Player 6.4 or Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 is installed, Microsoft said.

Versions of DirectX from 5.2 up to 9.0a are affected, according to Microsoft. Patches to fix the problem are available on Microsoft's security Web site as is DirectX 9.0b, a new version of the software that includes the security fix, Microsoft said. The DirectX issue is rated "critical," which means that Microsoft urges customers to patch up immediately.

Microsoft issued two other Security Bulletins, MS03-031 and MS03-029, on Wednesday, its official patch day. These bulletins warn of less serious flaws in several SQL Server database products and in Windows NT 4.0 Server. (See:http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-031.asp and http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-029.asp)

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