Menu
Microsoft: 10,000 PCs hit with new XP 0day attack

Microsoft: 10,000 PCs hit with new XP 0day attack

The bug in Windows XP's Help and Support Center was disclosed on June 10

Nearly a month after a Google engineer released details of a new Windows XP flaw, criminals have dramatically ramped up online attacks that leverage the bug.

Microsoft reported Wednesday that it has now logged more than 10,000 attacks. "At first, we only saw legitimate researchers testing innocuous proof-of-concepts. Then, early on June 15th, the first real public exploits emerged," Microsoft said in a blog posting. "Those initial exploits were targeted and fairly limited. In the past week, however, attacks have picked up."

The attacks, which are being launched from malicious Web pages, are concentrated in the U.S., Russia, Portugal, Germany and Brazil, Microsoft said.

PCs based in Russia and Portugal, in particular, are seeing a very high concentration of these attacks, Microsoft said.

According to security vendor Symantec, these attacks peaked late last week. "Symantec has seen increased activity around this vulnerability. The increased activity started around June 21 and peaked around June 26 and 27," a company spokesman said via instant message Wednesday. Attacks have leveled out since then, he added.

Criminals are using the attack code to download different malicious programs, including viruses, Trojans and software called Obitel, which simply downloads more malware, Microsoft said.

The flaw that's exploited in all of these attacks lies in the Windows Help and Support Center software that comes with Windows XP. It was disclosed on June 10 by Google researcher Tavis Ormandy. This Help Center software also ships with Windows Server 2003, but that operating system is apparently not vulnerable to the attack, Microsoft said.

Ormandy was criticized by some in the security community for not giving Microsoft more time to patch the flaw, which he disclosed to the software vendor on June 5. He released details of the bug five days later, apparently after failing to convince Microsoft to fix the issue within 60 days.

In a security advisory released June 10, Microsoft outlines several ways to turn off the Windows Help Center Protocol (HCP).

Microsoft's next set of security updates are due July 13.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftoperating systemssoftwareWindowsExploits / vulnerabilities

Featured

Slideshows

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards

Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards

Reseller News honoured the standout players of the New Zealand channel in front of more than 500 technology leaders in Auckland on 21 October, recognising the achievements of top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Meet the winners of the 2020 Reseller News Innovation Awards
Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments