Microsoft Corp. on Friday released what the company termed a "configuration change" to several versions of Windows in response to the recent attacks designated Download.Ject against its Internet Explorer browser.
The change disables a system component called ADODB.Stream that was utilized by the attack to execute code on the victims system. The change will be available Friday on the Windows Update site and through the Automated Updates facility. It is now available on the Microsoft Download Center.
In a statement, the company said, "In addition to this configuration change, which will protect customers against the immediate reported threats, Microsoft is working to provide a series of security updates to Internet Explorer in coming weeks that will provide additional protections for our customers."
Following that, Microsoft will release Windows XP Service Pack 2, which will make substantial changes in the operating system to enhance security. The companys description of the Download.Ject attack says that users of the prerelease versions of Windows XP Service Pack 2 were not vulnerable to Download.Ject. The company also stressed that it is working with law enforcement and others in the industry to pursue those responsible for the Download.Ject attack.
The vulnerability of the ADODB.Stream object has long been known by security researchers and has been discussed widely. This discussion from August 2003 on the SecurityFocus Vulnerabilities section describes the problem and a manual implementation of the same solution as Microsofts.