Theres another problem with the solutions that Microsoft has provided. Third-party programs can redistribute the vulnerable GDI+ library (generally for older versions of Windows that dont include GDI+ on their own), and Microsoft development guidelines recommend that they install it in their own directory. This means that just fixing the shared version installed by Windows or the Office version that Microsoft knows how to find doesnt excise the problem completely. You need to find all of the other copies of GDIPLUS.DLL that might be on the system. For this reason, Microsoft created a tool, the GDI+ Detection Tool, that does such a search. You can read a description of it and get a link to download it in this Knowledge Base article. You need administrative privileges in order to run this application.Because of the third-party application problem, even Windows XP SP2 users should scan for the vulnerable version, but its unlikely to be a problem for them. In most cases, applications would use the OS version of the library, and that one is OK. And it seems much less likely that a third-party application would be exploited unless it was a mail client or a browser. One can easily imagine a mail worm incorporating this exploit once a canned tool for it is developed. The fruit just hangs so much lower for those programs, but there cant be many of them that redistribute GDIPLUS.DLLperhaps there are none at all. As TruSecures Russ Cooper said Tuesday, this bug makes you want your anti-virus to scan everything, not just executable files. Of course, thats not practical, so the solution is to look for suspicious behavior as an IPS (intrusion-prevention system) would do. Fortunately, this is a tool of the future for client-side systems, and we should be reading more about them soon. There is great potential in this vulnerability, both to be a major problem and to be a major flop. A large number of vulnerable systems are out there, and if someone can figure out a reliable exploit and if they can figure out a good delivery mechanism, then it could cause widespread havoc. But theres no guarantee that will happen. Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.
Unfortunately, this tool doesnt actually detect programs running the vulnerable versions of GDIPLUS.DLL; it only searches for programs on a fixed list that Microsoft looks for. If you have a third-party program or custom program, it may not be found. The tool also doesnt specify where the vulnerable versions are, it just tells you that you have a problem. So, its worth running, but its far from a complete solution to the problem of random GDIPLUS.DLLs out there.