Son of MSBlast on the way?

Friday, 24 October 2003, 11:37 AM EST

Released on a security mailing list earlier this week, the program takes advantage of a flaw in Microsoft's Messenger Service to cause Windows-based computers to crash. The vulnerability affects almost every current Microsoft Windows system, leaving security experts concerned that independent hackers will quickly find a way to take control of a large number of computers by exploiting the flaw.

"I think we are going to see a repeat of the (MSBlast worm)," said Vincent Weafer, senior director of Symantec's antivirus research center, referring to the program that spread across the Internet in August. The program used a similarly widespread Windows flaw to break through computers' security. "It took three weeks (for hackers) to figure out a working worm in that case."

Programs that illustrate how to take advantage of such holes are known as "exploit code" and are seemingly being developed faster, coming out soon after the first notification of a flaw, a recent study by Symantec found.

[ Read more ]

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