Feeds

Win 7 remote kernel crasher code released

File and print freeze menace revealed

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Microsoft has reportedly begun investigating a potentially nasty denial of service vulnerability affecting Windows 7.

A security bug in windows 7 and Windows 2008R2 makes it possible to lock up affected systems. The crash would happen without a Blue Screen of Death or other visible indication that anything was amiss.

The system freeze can be triggered remotely by sending malformed packets to targeted systems - specifically a NetBIOS (Network Basic Input/Output System) header that specifies an incoming SMB packet is either four bytes smaller or larger than it actually is. Server Message Block (SMB) is a network protocol used to provide shared access to files and printers.

Proof of concept code was posted by white hat security researcher Laurent Gaffié in a blog entry on Wednesday. "Whatever your firewall is set to, you can get remotely smashed via IE or even via some broadcasting nbns tricks, [with] no user interaction," Gaffié writes.

Gaffié previously highlighted flaws in Microsoft's implementation of SMB that created an even greater code execution risk back in September.

While it might be used to knock over targeted systems, there's no evidence that the latest flaw lends itself to code injection, a far more serious type of problem. News of the bug broke a day after Microsoft's regular Patch Tuesday updates came and went.

Microsoft's six patches on Tuesday included a fix (MS09-065) for a critical hole in the Windows kernel of Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The same update had an "important" (ie lesser risk) patch for Vista and Windows Server 2008. Windows 7 users were not affected by either this or two other Windows-related security updates released earlier this week.

Redmond's security gnomes have reportedly begun investigating the Windows 7 denial of service risk, but Microsoft UK was unable to shed extra light on the issue this morning. We'll update this story as and when new details emerge. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.