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January 06, 2006

Windows Patch

Apparently all Windows users need it, not just those using IE. There's some problem with the Windows graphics rendering engine that serves as an exploit for hackers, and you can pick up a virus or trojan just from opening up the wrong web page. Maybe there's virus code coded written right into the picture. Or something. I don't know computers.

Anyway, the patch is here.

Or, perhaps, it's actually a massive scam by hackers to gain access to your credit card numbers and porn. But I'm guessing there's only a 49.5% chance of that. So the odds are in your favor.

Thanks to Wizbang.

The Problem... is described by a poster who doesn't leave a name:

The problem is that the Windows Metafile format, a file format for images (the biggest example I can think of it being used is the Microsoft Clipart Gallery images) allows files to contain code that is arbitrarily executed under certain conditions. The "feature" was originally added way back in the 80s to simplify error handling if a printer fucked up, which was a lot more common in the Dark Ages of computing. Problem is , the code could be anything, like a bit of code that opens a port in the system's firewall and downloads a trojan. All a malicious user has to do is make a WMF that doesn't load correctly for whatever reason, causing the "error handling" code to be run. This is especially easy, since a user doesn't even have to deliberately load the file, unlike, say, for an infected email attachment, since even previewing it in a Web browser or other application loads it.

Very neat.


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posted by Ace at 12:34 AM

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