Feeds

Crackers latch onto year-old Windows token vuln

Unpatched bug features in multi-stage attacks

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Hackers have created exploits against a long-standing, unpatched Windows "token kidnapping" vulnerability.

The appearance of attacks follows a year after security researchers Cesar Cerrudo informed Microsoft of the problem in March 2008. Microsoft acknowledged the potential issue in April and published workarounds in an advisory. A more comprehensive fix is yet to appear.

The privilege escalation flaw exposed by the vulnerability is subtle and not easily exploitable, so Microsoft can arguably be forgiven for treating the security bug as less than critical and not rushing out a fix. That rationale becomes redundant, however, once a flaw gets used in attacking real systems, as in this case.

Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, and Server 2003 and 2008 systems are all potentially vulnerable.

Cerrudo followed up his initial March advisory with the publication of proof of concept code in October, a move that would normally stir the software giant into producing a patch, though not in this case.

More recently hackers begun taking advantage of the vulnerability in attempts to pry open vulnerable systems. The flaw has cropped up in blended (multi-stage) attacks, the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre reports. ISC handler Bojan Zdrnja describes the case as an incident where web application security, Microsoft, and the anti-virus vendors have all played a stinker.

Other security watchers are more inclined to blame Redmond.

"This is yet another example of a black-eye that Microsoft could have avoided. To repeat, the company had notice about this issue one year ago and despite evidence of proof-of-concept code, there is no patch for affected Windows users," writes security blogger Ryan Naraine, who doubles up as a security evangelist at Kaspersky Lab. ®

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
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'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
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.