MS changes tune, says attackers are exploiting new bug

Initially Microsoft said there were no attacks based on the MS09-051 issue

One of the 34 bugs Microsoft patched on Tuesday is more serious than it first appeared.

Two hours after initially reporting in its security bulletin (MS09-051) that it was unaware of attacks exploiting a multimedia flaw in the Windows Media Runtime software, Microsoft revised its assessment. The software vendor now says that its initial bulletin was wrong and it has in fact seen "limited attacks trying to use the reported vulnerability."

The flaw lies in the way the Windows Media Runtime software processes certain types of ASF (Advanced Systems Format) files, used by streaming media. Microsoft rates the issue as critical for Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows Server users.

It was initially reported to Microsoft by both McAfee and 3Com's TippingPoint unit.

A McAfee spokesman echoed Microsoft's assessment of the bug Tuesday. "We have not seen any extensive in-the-wild exploitation of this vulnerability," said Joris Evers, via instant message.

Although the bug had been publicly disclosed, it was not widely known in the security research community.

McAfee's Evers said that one of his company's researchers had stumbled across the bug in a Chinese language bulletin board.

Tuesday's patch release was Microsoft's largest ever, fixing 34 bugs in the company's software, including vulnerabilities in the SMB (Server Message Block) 2 software that Microsoft introduced in Vista and the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) service that ships with some versions of the IIS (Internet Information Services) Web server. These two bugs had also been publicly disclosed, although neither is being used in any kind of widespread attack, security experts say.

Administrators should install the Windows Media Runtime patch as soon as possible, because this type of flaw could easily be exploited in a Web-based attack, said Andrew Storms, director of security operations with nCircle. "You can embed malicious code in what looks like a normal audio file," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsofthotmail

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

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?