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The Register: Microsoft won't fix new Windows security flaw

Sep 01, 2000, 15:47 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Orlowski)

[ Thanks to David for this link. ]

"The COVERT Lab issued an... advisory earlier this week detailing how a local Windows networking configuration can be corrupted by redirecting the user to an arbitrary IP address of the hacker's choosing. In itself, say researchers, the vulnerability isn't destructive. For malicious crackers it's more likely to be a means to an end. But the simplicity and stealth with which the attack can be carried out means that it merits a high risk rating, says PGP."

"All it takes is a single UDP packet sent to whoever is on the Windows network - it's unsolicited," a PGP researcher told The Register. "That person never needs to ask a question to receive an invalid response and for their cache to be corrupted, and for that machine to be the under the control of the attacker. As an example of potential abuse, PGP's advisory cites a case where a rogue SMB (Windows' file and print network protocol) machine could be used to capture names and passwords from other users on the LAN, or over the Internet."

"COVERT Labs advises users to unbind NetBIOS from the stack, or turn the protocol off if they're using Windows 2000. "There's not a lot a user can do to minimize their risk," said Jim Magdych, security research manager at the lab. ... "We've had a lot of discussion with Microsoft about it," said Magdych. "They said it would take up too much effort and be too disruptive to the Microsoft NetBIOS implementation to implement any sort of patch to correct this problem."

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