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

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Pantry at Park Hyatt in Auckland to kick-start 2021.

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland
The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Show Comments