Critical Windows vulnerability under attack, Microsoft warns
Drive-by web exploits possible
Microsoft has warned of a critical security bug in older versions of its Windows operating system that is already being exploited in the wild to remotely execute malware on vulnerable machines.
The vulnerability in a Windows component known as DirectX is being targeted using booby-trapped QuickTime files, which when parsed can allow attackers to gain complete control of a computer. Because many browsers are designed to automatically play video, people can be compromised simply by visiting a site serving malicious files. Vista, Windows Server 2008 and the beta version of Windows 7 are not affected, and neither is Apple's QuickTime player, Microsoft said.
Microsoft has offered several work-arounds until a patch is available. The most straight-forward of them involves visiting this link and clicking on the "Fix it" icon. (We got an error when using Firefox, but it worked fine with Internet Explorer.) Several additional fixes are available on the work-arounds section here. The installation of QuickTime doesn't protect Windows users from being compromised.
The vulnerability exists in the way a DirectX application programming interface known as DirectShow handles supported QuickTime files. By manipulating the format, attackers can gain the same system privileges assigned to the logged-in user. Since Microsoft doesn't make it easy on users who log in to limited accounts, the vulnerability means most people using 2000, XP and Server 2003 versions of Windows are at risk of losing complete control of their machines.
Vista and later versions of Windows aren't affected because the vulnerable QuickTime parser filter was removed from them.
Microsoft was vague about the real-world attacks targeting the flaw except to say it "is aware of limited, active attacks that use this exploit code." It said it is sharing additional details with company partners through its Microsoft Active Protections Program, which was announced in August.
Capitalism is the best system that has ever existed. Without it there is literally no hope.
If you are handing out free tools to the poor, I need a drill press and a bandsaw.
1) I agree with what you say.
My point is that it's wrong that it is happening. It ought not to be this way. Why should tools be withheld from the poor? It's outrageous.
In just the same way that certain people are OK with the idea that in a world where we have the where-with-all to treat everyone for a lot of low level medical issues, we don't. We shrug and put the medicine in the cupboard and say "when you can afford it you can have it" - this is a monstrous crime. And while I realise that software isn't the answer to the world's problems, it, like everything else, is kept in the cupboard for those who can afford it.
And this way of thinking and behaving stinks to high heaven.
(Spare me any diatribes on motivation and any grotesque nonsense about "capitalism is the best system we ever had" - (if that's true there is no hope)).
2) Waste of time money and electricity. Though of course, if you need more than one pc running at any one time then yes, you're right.
If the jiffy fix button on the Microsoft site doesn't work for you, try this less jiffy method from their other pages-
In XP, open a command line window, by clicking "Start" (bottom left) then "Run". Now type "cmd" in the dialog (without the quotes). A black command line window appears.
Now copy the line below and paste it into the command line, then press return.
Windows media player won't be able to play .avi or .wmv files anymore, so use something else.