Feeds

Windows HyperTerminal surrenders your box

Unchecked buffer week

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Website security in corporate America

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.