Feeds

Win XP slays buffer overflow bugs

Source code security audit

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Microsoft has eradicated buffer overflows with Windows XP, following a source code security audit, group veep Jim Allchin claimed during a keynote at the Intel Developers Forum in San Jose.

A buffer overflow, which may cause a system or process to crash, happens when a program or process attempts to store more data in a buffer than intended. This is very useful for hackers because it enables them to create specially formatted malformed requests which will overflow a buffer and leave their code at parts on the system where it might subsequently be executed.

Buffer overflows first came to prominence with the Morris worm in 1988 and are still causing trouble even now. Variants of the Code Red worm exploited a buffer overflow flaw in the indexing service DLL of Microsoft's IIS Web server.

As a CERT advisory explains, IIS Web server on beta versions of Win XP were among those vulnerable to the problem.

It could be assumed elementary testing or code review would pick up buffer overflow problems in practice it is much more difficult.

A quick search revealed few published references on the prevention of buffer overflow problems, an occupational hazard of software programming that is not peculiar to Redmond. For that reason it'll be interesting to see the results of Microsoft's work." ®

Related Stories

Unique ID is built into WinXP final build
Sun cries wolf over Windows XP
Serious Outlook hole patched
Buffer the FTP Slayer
BIND holes mean big trouble on the Net

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.