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A day after Microsoft confirmed a vulnerability in Windows applications that executes malicious code on end-user PCs, the first exploits have been released targeting programs including the Firefox browser, uTorrent BitTorrent client, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

The attack code was posted on Tuesday to the Exploit Database. It included exploits for the Wireshark packet sniffer, Windows Live email and Microsoft MovieMaker, in addition to those for the most recent versions of Firefox, uTorrent and PowerPoint.

As many as 200 applications may be vulnerable to the so-called binary planting or DLL preloading attacks, according to Mitja Kolsek, CEO of Acros Security, the Slovenia-based company that warned Microsoft of the issue some four months ago. Microsoft said on Monday that the flaw stems from applications that don't explicitly state the full path name of DLL files and other binaries associated with the program. As a result, each application will have to be patched separately, rather than there being a single Windows update.

In addition to the four exploits, H D Moore, CSO and chief architect of the Metasploit project, has released an auditing tool to identify vulnerable applications. When combined with a module added to the Metasploit framework for penetration testers and hackers, it provides most of what's needed to exploit vulnerable programs.

Both Moore and Kolsek have said that additional software from Microsoft is vulnerable. Redmond's security team has said it's still investigating whether its applications are susceptible. ®

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