Feeds

MS issues eleventh hour Snapshot bug workaround

Rush to fix serious ActiveX flaw

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Microsoft has taken the unusual step of issuing a workaround for a new security bug involving Microsoft Office a day before its regular Patch Tuesday update.

Hacking attacks targeting a vulnerability in the Snapshot Viewer ActiveX control for Microsoft Access prompted Redmond's security gnomes to issue an advisory on Monday. The flaw affects the Snapshot Viewer in Microsoft Office Access 2000, 2002 and 2003. Snapshot Viewer displays summaries of Microsoft Office Access reports without requiring Access itself to be run.

Redmond said the flaw has become the focus of targeted attacks. Attack scenarios involve tricking users into visiting sites containing rogue ActiveX controls designed to exploit the vulnerability. If successful the approach would allow hackers to obtain the same rights as logged-on users to compromised machines.

Although Microsoft has not yet corrected the underlying vulnerability, it has several suggestions* on how to set a kill bit to disable an unwanted ActiveX control. Some of these involve preventing COM objects from running in Internet Explorer, or disabling scripting. The first of these means using the Registry Editor, where mistakes can really screw up your system, while the second might leave users unable to use many websites normally. Given these choices, less technically knowledgeable Windows users might do better to use either Firefox or Opera pending the availability of a patch, which Microsoft has begun to develop.

ActiveX controls are a perennial source of security problems which Microsoft plans to finally address in the bundle of security enhancements due to ship with IE8. The list of problems with the technology (frankly too long and painful to list here) goes back to the genesis of Internet Explorer or, to put it another way, a time when Billie Piper was best known as a companion of Chris Evans, rather than Doctor Who. ®

* Any time we see an advisory with three or four suggested workarounds instead of one, we can't help but think none of them work particularly well.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.