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Win Media Player hole surrenders your machine

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Security for virtualized datacentres

The Windows Media Player ASX (Active Stream Redirector) processor contains an unchecked buffer susceptible to an overrun which could enable an attacker to run arbitrary code on a machine with the victim's level of permission, a Microsoft security bulletin warns.

Media Player 6.4 and 7.0 are affected; and earlier, currently-unsupported versions 'may or may not be,' the company says.

Developing an exploit would require the cobbling together of a malicious file which could be circulated via e-mail or linked on a malicious Web site. All that remains is to entice the unlucky victim to open it. Naming it sororitysuck.asx ought to do the trick here, we reckon.

Alternatively, a malicious HTML page could be set up to run an attack script automatically when it's viewed.

A second, less destructive, vulnerability could enable an attacker to exploit maliciously-crafted shortcuts, which Media Player 6.4 and 7.0 save to the user's temporary files directory with a known file name.

"It's possible for HTML code to be stored in such a shortcut and launched via a Web page or HTML e-mail, in which case the code would run in the Local Computer Zone rather than the Internet Zone. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to read - but not add, delete or modify - files on another user's computer," the security bulletin explains.

Media Player 6.4 users can download a patch to clear up both defects here; while 7.0 users can fix their systems by upgrading to 7.1 here. ®

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