Feeds

Unofficial fix issued for Vista networking flaw

Crash bang wallop

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.