Feeds

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

New vulnerability found, workaround issued ahead of patch

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
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
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
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.