Feeds

NT4.0 too flawed to fix – official

Insecure by design

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

There's a nasty rider with Microsoft's latest security problem for NT users.

Although a denial of service risk exists in an "important" security vulnerability, publicised yesterday affecting NT 4.0, Redmond tells users not to expect a patch for that operating system anytime soon.

Windows 2000 and XP users do have access to a fix, designed to address a flaw involving Endpoint Mapper, but the best on offer for Win NT users is advice to shelter vulnerable servers behind a firewall.

The vulnerability involves the Microsoft's implementation of Remote Procedure Call protocol, more specifically the component that deals with message exchange over TCP/IP. Malformed messages received by the Endpoint Mapper process, which listens on TCP/IP port 135, might cause a server to hang.

Microsoft has provided patches with this bulletin to correct this vulnerability for Windows 2000 and Windows XP, but not Windows NT 4.0 - even though the OS is affected.

In a surprisingly candid admission, the company states that fixing NT4.0 is simply too difficult.

"The architectural limitations of Windows NT 4.0 do not support the changes that would be required to remove this vulnerability," Microsoft says. "Windows NT 4.0 users are strongly encouraged to employ the workaround discussed in the FAQ in the bulletin, which is to protect the NT 4.0 system with a firewall that blocks Port 135."

Firewalling will probably keep external attackers at bay but the flaw gives attackers with intranet access considerable scope to crash, though not (it would seem root), inherently vulnerable NT4 boxes. ®

External Links

Microsoft's Security Bulletin

Related Stories

Critical Win2K flaw yields multiple attack vectors (different, even more serious, problem)
Too cool for secure code
Windows Root kits a stealthy threat
Small WinXP security glitch, not many dead

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
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
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.