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An unpatched flaw in a core component of Windows 2000 might be exploited to launch computer worms, security researchers warns. The flaw was discovered by security research firm eEye Digital Security. The firm is witholding details pending the release of a software patch. Microsoft is investigating the issue, which is complicated by its decision to wind down support for the operating system.

Mainstream support of Windows 2000, which is still widely used in corporate environments, came to an end at the start of July 2005. Microsoft released a final update rollup for Windows 2000 on 28 June, just two days before expiration of regular support.

"Whilst news of this latest Microsoft flaw is presently fairly opaque to the industry, we cannot expect that it is, or will remain secret from the so-called 'black hats'. One can expect one or more worms to exploit this flaw as an attack vector very shortly," said Tom Newton, product development manager of firewall developer SmoothWall. ®

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