Windows cursor patch causes problems

— 9:15 AM on April 5, 2007

On Tuesday, Microsoft released an early patch for the animated cursor vulnerability affecting Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000. The patch does plug the hole, but according to CNet, it also doesn't get along with Realtek networking and integrated audio software. CNet quotes a reader who says installing the update caused multiple systems to lose "all Ethernet and audio functions," although the problem went away after the reader uninstalled the update and ran a system restore. The audio problem affects Windows XP systems with the Realtek Audio Control Panel installed. Microsoft was aware of it and even put up a support article and a hotfix, but it decided to release the patch anyway.

Of course, users who don't install the patch are vulnerable to the animated cursor hole, which, in a worst-case scenario, can allow the remote execution of malicious code on an affected system. CNet has a video of the remote code execution exploit in action here.

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