Feeds

Unofficial fix issued for Vista networking flaw

Crash bang wallop

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A system-crashing bug with potential malware implications has been uncovered in Vista. But a fix for the vulnerability, which revolves around flaws in the operating system's network stack, may have to wait until the next service pack.

The TCP/IP stack buffer overflow was discovered by security researchers at Austrian firewall firm Phion in October. Details of the flaw, which also creates a potential mechanism to inject hostile code into vulnerable systems, were disclosed in a posting to BugTraq on Friday.

The vulnerability affects Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Vista in both 32 and 64 bit flavours of the operating system. XP is immune. Phion has published a workaround in the absence of a fix from Microsoft itself.

Exploitation would appear to be tricky and there's no evidence of the misuse of the flaw by hackers. Microsoft has yet to respond to the issue.

Phion's workaround is the first unofficial fix for Vista we're aware of, but its not the first time the issue of unofficial fixes for other vulnerabilities in Microsoft software has arisen. Generally the best advice is to not apply an unofficial fix unless the bug is a real and present danger. The potential damage to the smooth operation of applications more than outweighs the benefits of defending against attacks.

A fix for the flaw from Microsoft is unlikely until the next service pack for Vista, according to Thomas Uterleitner of Phion. No date has been set for the availability of Vista Service Pack 2.

More details on the flaw can be found in a posting on BugTraq here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
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
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.