Windows vulnerability may be exploited quickly

— 4:10 AM on September 11, 2003

Analysts are predicting that the latest Windows vulnerability will be exploited by an Internet worm more quickly than previous Windows flaws. The latest Windows security flaw is actually quite similar to an older bug that the MSBlast worm took advantage of last month.

Microsoft has issued a patch and even a new scanning tool to identify the vulnerability, but users have a poor track record when it comes to applying security fixes in a timely manner. Because the Windows vulnerability would allow an intruder to launch uploaded programs on unpatched machines, it could have an impact on all Internet users. If hackers can arbitrarily execute code on unpatched Windows systems, they can launch denial-of-service attacks or even set up mail servers to spew forth untold amounts of spam.

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