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Subject: [IP] more on Huge virus threat rocks Microsoft

  • From: David Farber <>
  • To:
  • Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2006 18:15:28 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Frankston <>
Date: January 3, 2006 5:40:29 PM EST
Subject: RE: [IP] Huge virus threat rocks Microsoft

This is a serious problem -- worse if it affects embedded systems.

But I'm afraid to install the patch because I don't know exactly what it
does. I may do it anyway.

There are more detailed discussions as at

It emphasizes the need to deinstall the patch before installing Microsoft's
fix -- this may be problematic for those with automatic updating enabled.

I have no simple solution for these kinds of problems -- but it's not just
a computer problem. I'm still waiting for law enforcement organizations to
play a more visible role even if only as a deterrence.

Is the NSA too busy mining data to track down more immediately threats --
at least if the miscreants are in other countries which is highly likely.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Farber []
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 16:40
Subject: [IP] Huge virus threat rocks Microsoft

Begin forwarded message:

Date: January 3, 2006 2:02:17 PM EST
Subject: Huge virus threat rocks Microsoft

Mr. Farber,

This can't be a new discovery, I witnessed a virus infection from
simply visiting a web page well over a year ago.


Huge virus threat rocks Microsoft
Report says a newly discovered flaw could expose hundreds of millions
of Windows PCs to virus.

January 3, 2006: 11:08 AM EST

NEW YORK ( - The new year is off to a rocky start at
Microsoft, where security experts are scrambling to confront a
potentially massive virus threat to Windows PCs.

According to a report Tuesday in the Financial Times, the latest
vulnerability involves a flaw which allows hackers to infect
computers using programs inserted into image files. The threat was
discovered last week. But it mushroomed over the weekend, when a
group of hackers published the source code they used to exploit the

What makes this threat particularly vicious, according to the Times,
is that unwitting victims can infect their computers simply by
viewing a web page, e-mail, or instant message that includes a
contaminated image. That differs from most virus attacks, which
require a user to actually download an infected file.

&quot;The potential [security threat] is huge,&quot; Mikko Hypponen, chief
research officer at F-Secure, an antivirus company, told the Times.
&quot;It's probably bigger than for any other vulnerability we've seen.

&quot;Any version of Windows is vulnerable right now,&quot; said Mr. Hypponen,
including every Windows system shipped since 1990.

Microsoft (Research) said in a security bulletin on its Web site, &quot;we
are working closely with our antivirus partners and aiding law
enforcement in its investigation.&quot; index.htm?cnn=yes

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