Windows Flaw More Serious Than First Thought

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2003-03-21 Print this article Print

An outside analysis demonstrates that IIS is not the only attack vector. All Windows 2000 users should apply patch immediately.

An analysis by security vulnerability research company NGS Software demonstrates that earlier reports and Microsofts Security Bulletin on what was apparently a vulnerability in IIS understated the depth of the problem. In fact, the problem is based in more fundamental functions of Windows 2000 and many other modes of attack, other than through WebDAV, are possible.

The implications of this are serious. We and others had reported that there were effective workarounds to the problem for those uncomfortable with applying the patch, but it appears that these will prove inadequate. As reported on the NTBugTraq mailing list, we should expect new attacks through other vectors against Windows 2000 systems generally, both clients and servers. All users should apply the patch as soon as possible.

Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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