Microsoft on the hunt for 'serious' Windows flaw

Microsoft bug squashers are investigating reports of a serious security vulnerability in Windows operating systems that could allow attackers to take control of vast numbers of machines, particularly those located off US shores. A Microsoft spokesman had only minimal details about the investigation, which was prompted by a presentation last week by researcher Beau Butler at the Kiwicon security conference in New Zealand. According to this report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the flaw affects every version of Windows including Vista and is actually the continuation of an old vulnerability that Microsoft supposedly fixed years ago.

The bug, according to Symantec's DeepSight threat notification service, resides in a feature known as Web Proxy Autodiscovery (WPAD), which helps IT administrators automate the configuration of proxy settings in Internet Explorer and other web browsers. The vulnerability can be "widely exploited" to "intercept web sessions, direct browsers to malicious proxies, and effectively gain control over unsuspecting users' web traffic," according to Symantec, which said it had yet to confirm the vulnerability.

View: The full story @ The Reg

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3 Comments

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as far as this goes, the flaw has to be concept-proofed before someone makes a patch for it.
hopefully this report will stay as a report only and not a warning before something bad happens to someone.

xSuRgEx said,
well lets hope every one listens this time and patches there system/s.
While that is generally good advice, this article is about a possible unpatched flaw. Meaning Microsoft would have to identify and repair the flaw first.

Of course, the "reports" of a yet-unpatched flaw are still just "reports", and are not confirmed.