Microsoft admits flaw in Windows software

Thursday, 17 July 2003, 9:49 AM EST

Microsoft Corp. acknowledged a critical vulnerability Wednesday in nearly all versions of its flagship Windows operating system software, the first such design flaw to affect its latest Windows Server 2003 software.

Microsoft said the vulnerability could allow hackers to seize control of a victim's Windows computer over the Internet, stealing data, deleting files or eavesdropping on e-mails. The company urged customers to immediately apply a free software repairing patch available from Microsoft's Web site.

The disclosure was unusually embarrassing for Microsoft because it demonstrated the first such serious flaw in the company's powerful new computer server software, billed as its safest ever.

The software is aimed at large corporate customers and was the first product sold under a high-profile "Trustworthy Computing" initiative organized last year by Bill Gates.

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