Feeds

Microsoft in a TIFF over Windows, Office bug that runs code hidden in pics

New vulnerability found, workaround issued ahead of patch

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Microsoft has alerted users and system administrators following the discovery of targeted attacks on a security bug present in Windows, Office and Lync.

The software giant said the flaw allows attackers to remotely execute code and install malware on a vulnerable system by sending an email or instant message or convincing a user to open a specially crafted webpage.

According to Microsoft, the flaw lies in the handling of TIFF image files by a graphics processing component in Windows Vista, Server 2008, Office 2003 to 2010 and Microsoft Lync. When exploited, the attacker's code hidden in the image file executes on the target system with the same privileges as the current user.

Researchers at McAfee said they tracked assaults on Windows XP systems, and warned that Windows 7 systems are also vulnerable if an affected version of Office is installed. Versions of Office and Lync for Mac OS X are not believed to be at risk.

It's understood the TIFF attack works by tricking the OS into copying malicious code stashed in the file into memory and then hijacking the processor to execute it.

Microsoft has yet to post a patch to fix the bug, although the company has posted a workaround which edits the Windows registry to prevent the rendering of TIFF images, thus blocking off the attack vector on vulnerable systems.

Should a formal update for the flaw arrive, it could hit the download servers next Tuesday when Microsoft issues its monthly Patch Tuesday security update. However there may not be enough time to construct and test a fix for this zero-day vulnerability by next week. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Shellshock over SMTP attacks mean you can now ignore your email
'But boss, the Internet Storm Centre says it's dangerous for me to reply to you'
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.