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Media Player threats, memory leaks, social engineering and more

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MS Bug Roundup: We've seen another spike in Microsoft security bulletins during the past few days. Funny how these things seem to run in cycles....



First up, a nifty hole which affects RPC (Remote Procedure Calling), which is used chiefly to support distributed applications.

In this instance, a malicious RPC request can cause a denial of service on MS Exchange Server 5.5, Exchange Server 2000, SQL Server 7.0, SQL Server 2000, Win-NT 4.0 and Win-2K, according to an MS security bulletin.

"The precise type of disruption would depend on the specific service, but could range in effect from minor (e.g., the service temporarily hanging) to major (e.g., the service failing in a way that would require the entire system to be restarted)," MS says.

Get your patches by following the security bulletin link above.



Next up, an unchecked buffer in MS Media Player affecting all users of MP 6.4, 7, and 7.1., which can allow an attacker to run arbitrary code on the victim's machine with the user's level of permission.

The glitch exists in the streaming media support supplied by Media Station (NSC) files. Improper input validation in the NSC handler makes the overrun available for exploitation.

To accomplish that, an attacker might post a malicious media file on a Web site and either entice visitors to access it or set it up to launch automatically.

Patches and further details are available from this MS security bulletin.



Next we have a memory leak in Win-2K Terminal Server involving the processing of incoming RDP (Remote Data Protocol) data via port 3389. Each time a maliciously-crafted RDP packet is processed, the memory leak depletes overall server memory by a small amount.

Since the memory won't be re-allocated to the processor, the cumulative effect of repeated attacks will eventually deplete system memory and result in a denial of service.

Systems affected include Win-NT 4.0, Terminal Server Edition; Win-2K Server; 2K Advanced Server; and 2K Datacenter Server.

This one is not difficult to stop: any firewall can block it, and bunging port 3389 will of course do the same.

Nevertheless, there are patches available here.



Finally, a recent social-engineering hack involves an e-mail memo which contains

a bogus MS security bulletin

, and which urges the recipient to follow a supplied URL to download a patch. The so-called patch is, of course, a malicious executable. Big laffs. ®

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