by Constantine von Hoffman

Details on Latest Windows Flaw (And More Security News of the Week)

Mar 16, 20122 mins
CybercrimeData and Information SecurityMalware

A new flaw found in Microsoft's Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) allows computers to be remotely accessed and enables an attacker to install malicious code. The bug also reportedly contains an exact copy of information Microsoft only gives to trusted security companies.

A new flaw has been found in Windows’ Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that, if exploited, could cause a denial-of-service condition. And the bug reportedly contains an exact copy of information Microsoft only gives to security companies.

Computers that don’t have network-level authentication could be remotely accessed and an attacker could install malicious code, according to reports. The bug contains an exact copy of information Microsoft only sent out to Microsoft Active Protection Program (MAPP) participants. MAPP gives a small, vetted group of security firms early access to vulnerability and patch information.

ThreatPost reports that researcher Luigi Auriemma says the exploit code found on a Chinese download site contains “the exact packet that he sent to TippingPoint’s Zero Day Initiative in his original advisory on the vulnerability.”

“ZDI engineers typically confirm the bug, work up a protection signature for TippingPoint’s appliances and then send the data on to the affected company, in this case Microsoft,” says Auriemma.

Microsoft released a patch for the bug last Tuesday.

Also in the news this week:

  • More malware uses stolen digital certificates to bypass defenses: Security companies have recently identified multiple malware threats that use stolen digital certificates. The malware uses certificates stolen from RealTek, JMicron, Conpavi AG and others. Hackers are using the certificates because some antivirus solutions assume digitally signed files are OK and don’t scan them.
  • 40 percent of U.S. gov websites are unsafe: Two studies have found that 40 percent of federal websites do not support DNS Security extensions even though they were ordered to do so two years ago. The Department of Defense and CIA were among the agencies at risk.
  • Government found to produce worst software: Research by Veracode found eight out of 10 apps from industry and government do not live up to the company- or agency-security criteria. The company found 16 percent of government Web applications were secure, compared with 24 percent from the finance industry and 28 percent of commercial software.
  • Many nations investigate Google for bypassing Safari privacy: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and France’s CNIL are both probing the search giant in regards to its bypass of privacy settings on the Safari Web browser. Last month Google and other advertisers were found to be using code that bypassed the browser’s cookie blocking.