Feeds

MS plugs weak XP firewall

Critical update

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Microsoft this week quietly fixed a security weakness in the configuration of the built-in firewall component of Windows XP.

The firewall - turned on by default by XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) - can leave files open across the whole net if users choose to enable file and printer sharing, it transpires. Such access should be restricted across a local network but Microsoft has implemented the feature in such a way that, for users of some dial-up ISPs, a local sub-net becomes the whole internet. Microsoft first informed users of this back in September but it has taken three months for it to release a fix.

Configuration changes released through Windows Update this week narrow the scope of what is defined as a local network. This update was issued at the same time as Microsoft's monthly patch roundup earlier this week but treated separately by Redmond (insecure configuration settings and security bugs been different beasties, at least according to Microsoft). Microsoft defines the update (more info here) as "critical".

In other Windows security news, security firm Secunia warns of a flaw in IE that can be used to conduct cross-site scripting attacks. The firm has produced a test to illustrating how the unpatched vuln. might be harnessed in phishing attacks. Even fully patched systems running Windows XP SP2 and up to date versions of IE are potentially vulnerable. Secunia advises users concerned about the problem to deactivate ActiveX or to use an alternative browser. ®

Related stories

Five important fixes in MS December patch batch
IE in fresh security drama
Watch out there's an IE bug about
CERT recommends anything but IE
MS plugs IE phishing bug (here's one they fixed earlier)

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
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
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
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
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
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.