Feeds

Microsoft releases FixIt for critical flaw in 100 apps

Relief for Firefox, Nvidia, PowerPoint

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft has released a software tool that helps system administrators protect PCs against a critical class of vulnerabilities found in more than 100 applications from a variety of software makers.

The FixIt Tool works only on machines that have already installed the workaround Microsoft published last week. The latest point-and-click release is designed to make the previous workaround easier to use and fine-tune a variety of settings that will ensure compatibility with applications such as Outlook 2002, members of the Microsoft Security Response Center said.

The so-called DLL hijacking threat stems from default behavior when Windows tries to load dynamic link library files used by applications that run on top of the operating system. When the current working directory is set to one controlled by the attacker, it's possible to force the OS to execute a malicious file. More than 100 applications made by Microsoft and third-party software makers have been identified as being vulnerable, including Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, PowerPoint, Opera and drivers for Nvidia graphics hardware.

Microsoft has yet to confirm which of its applications are vulnerable. A spokeswoman from Mozilla contacted last week didn't have a comment, either.

MSRC's Jonathan Ness and Maarten Van Horenbeeck said that the vulnerability doesn't allow a drive-by attack in which users can get exploited simply by visiting a malicious website. Nonetheless, they said the threat is real, especially for users in settings where Windows file sharing and other advanced networking options are used.

“Unfortunately, based on attack patterns we have seen in recent years, we believe it is no longer safe to browse to a malicious, untrusted WebDAV server in the Internet Zone and double-click on any type of files,” the wrote. “We recommend users only double-click on file icons from WebDAV shares known to be trusted, safe, and not under the control of a malicious attacker,” ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.