Attackers can slip past Windows system defenses due to a flaw in the way Apples QuickTime for Windows handles URLs in the "qtnext" field in QTL files—i.e., media link files.
Apple on Oct. 3 put out a security advisory with an update for QuickTime 7.2 for Windows.
Apple distributes the QuickTime Player to play QuickTime and other media files.
According to an advisory sent by Symantec to its Deepsight Alert Services customers, a successful exploit would let an attacker launch command-line arguments on a target machine.
The vulnerability affects QuickTime version 7.2 running on Windows Vista or XP SP2.
There are no known exploits out for the issue at this point, according to Symantec. An attacker could exploit unpatched systems by putting together a malicious .qtl file and then luring a victim into viewing the rigged file, either by distributing it in e-mail or by hosting it on a Web site.
After a victim views the rigged file, an application is launched with attacker-supplied arguments on the targeted computer.
Click here to read more about how QuickTime movies can be a vector for system hijacks.
Symantec suggests the usual mitigation strategies if users cant patch right away. First, run software with minimal access rights. Also, to limit the damages that could be done with a successful attack, run all client software with the fewest privileges needed. Also, dont follow links from untrusted sources or visit shady sites whose integrity is questionable.
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 eWEEKs Security Watch blog.