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Monday, January 02, 2006

WMF vulnerability - new code exploit danger

  • Why is this issue so important?
The WMF vulnerability uses images (WMF images) to execute arbitrary code. It will execute just by viewing the image. In most cases, you don't have click anything. Even images stored on your system may cause the exploit to be triggered if it is indexed by some indexing software. Viewing a directory in Explorer with 'Icon size' images will cause the exploit to be triggered as well.
  • Is it better to use Firefox or Internet Explorer?
Internet Explorer will view the image and trigger the exploit without warning. New versions of Firefox will prompt you before opening the image. However, in most environments this offers little protection given that these are images and are thus considered 'safe'.
  • What versions of Windows are affected?
All. Windows 2000, Windows XP, (SP1 and SP2), Windows 2003. All are affected to some extent. Mac OS-X, Unix or BSD is not affected.

Note: If you're still running on Win98/ME, this is a watershed moment: we believe (untested) that your system is vulnerable and there will be no patch from MS. Your mitigation options are very limited. You really need to upgrade.
  • What can I do to protect myself?
  1. Microsoft has not yet released a patch. An unofficial patch was made available by Ilfak Guilfanov. Our own Tom Liston reviewed the patch and we tested it. The reviewed and tested version is available here (now at v1.3, MD5: 14d8c937d97572deb9cb07297a87e62a), PGP signature (signed with ISC key) here. THANKS to Ilfak Guilfanov for providing the patch!!
  2. You can unregister the related DLL.
  3. Virus checkers provide some protection.
To unregister the DLL:
  • Click Start, click Run, type "regsvr32 -u %windir%\system32\shimgvw.dll" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK.
  • A dialog box appears to confirm that the un-registration process has succeeded. Click OK to close the dialog box.


Security guru Steve Gibson, explains it very well at this link:
http://www.grc.com/sn/notes-020.htm

"A serious new remotely exploitable vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Windows' image processing code.

UNTIL THIS IS REPAIRED BY MICROSOFT, ANY ATTEMPT
TO DISPLAY A MALICIOUS IMAGE IN WINDOWS COULD
INSTALL MALICIOUS SOFTWARE INTO THE COMPUTER."

I rarely ever say this because I hate getting forwarded email myself, but this is something you should forward to all your family, friends and I.T. associates immediately.

Microsoft info:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/advisory/912840.mspx

SANS - Internet Storm Center - Cooperative Cyber Threat Monitor And Alert System

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