Leaked code still could bear malicious fruit

Monday, 15 March 2004, 2:12 AM EST

When news of the leak of a portion of Windows source code broke last month, many in the security community cautioned against overreacting, saying that the leak likely wouldn't lead to a slew of new vulnerability discoveries. But that attitude has changed in recent weeks because researchers said that crackers have uncovered several previously unknown vulnerabilities in the code and appear determined to keep the flaws quiet for their private use.

Many in the legitimate security world have shied away from downloading and examining the code, out of fear of legal problems with Microsoft and out of a desire to keep their research unspoiled by what could be corrupt or damaged code. However, malicious crackers have had no such reservations. Immediately following the code's posting on the Internet, members of the security underground began poring over the code, searching for undocumented features and flaws that might give them a new way to break into Windows machines.

By Dennis Fisher at eWeek.

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