Feeds

Windows HyperTerminal surrenders your box

Unchecked buffer week

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Microsoft issued its third security bulletin for the week on Friday, this time reporting an unchecked buffer susceptible to an overrun attack in the ubiquitous HyperTerminal Telnet/serial client which cheerfully sets itself up as the default during Windows installation.

A maliciously-crafted Telnet URL can be used to trigger a buffer overrun, which in turn would enable an attacker to run arbitrary code on a machine with the victim's level of permission. A malicious HTML page exploiting the hole could easily be circulated via e-mail.

Another issue resides in code that processes session files, which enable HyperTerminal users to specify parameters such as the connection method and the destination host, Microsoft says.

Thus if a user opened a maliciously-crafted session file, it too would trigger the buffer overrun.

Because the flaw is specific to the utility, not the OS, an exploit can easily be developed to attack all Win machines running HyperTerminal without individual modifications for the several flavors of Windows in circulation.

Windows 98, 98SE, ME, NT, and 2K are all vulnerable, though in the case of 2K, HyperTerminal is not automatically installed as the default client.

Since Win95 is no longer supported, we're uncertain whether its edition of HT is affected, but chances are it's vulnerable too. There's no 95 patch, and there won't be. Didn't you know you were supposed to buy a 98 upgrade ages ago?

It's been a rough week for Redmond security. On Tuesday we learned of a Word macro vulnerability; on Thursday a Windows Media Player vulnerability; and Friday the HyperTerminal matter, all of which are exploitable in highly destructive ways.

Friday's hole is related to but not the same as a vulnerability reported back in October, so HyperTerminal users need to install fresh patches. The one issued previously is not adequate protection.

HyperTerminal is made by software outfit Hilgraeve. ®

Related Links

Win98, 98SE patch
WinME patch
Win2K patch

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.