Microsoft says hackers are targeting a security flaw in the DirectX feature of Windows. According to Microsoft, attackers are using malicious QuickTime videos to exploit the bug.
is investigating reports of a vulnerability in Microsoft DirectX that
is under attack by hackers using malicious QuickTime videos.
According to a Microsoft
the vulnerability can be exploited by hackers to remotely execute
code with the rights of the logged-on user. Specifically, the
vulnerability is in the QuickTime parser in Microsoft DirectShow, and is due to
the way DirectShow handles supported QuickTime format files.
A feature of the Windows operating system, DirectX is used for streaming
media to enable graphics and sound when playing games or watching video. Within
DirectX, the DirectShow technology performs client-side audio and video
sourcing, manipulation and rendering, while the QuickTime Movie Parser filter
splits Apple QuickTime data into audio and video streams.
Although this isn't a browser vulnerability, Microsoft
officials warned that because the vulnerability is in DirectShow,
browser using media plug-ins that use DirectShow is subject
In addition, it is possible to direct calls to DirectShow
specifically, even if Apple's QuickTime (which is not vulnerable) is installed.
"While our investigation is ongoing, our investigation so far has shown
that Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 are
vulnerable; all versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 are not
vulnerable," the company said in the advisory. "Microsoft has
activated its Software Security Incident Response Process (SSIRP) and is
continuing to investigate this issue."
There are a few workarounds available to help users deal with the threat.
Administrators can disable QuickTime parsing in Quartz.dll by deleting the
following registry key:
Users can also modify the ACL (access
control list) on quartz.dll. Instructions for these and other workarounds are
contained in the DirectShow