Tuesday, February 14, 2006

MS06-007 and the importance of being ernest

Announced in the batch of new Valentine's Day vulnerabilities from Microsoft today, Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-007 is an exposure to a remote Denial of Service attack. The bulletin states:
A denial of service vulnerability exists that could allow an attacker to send a specially crafted IGMP packet to an affected system. An attacker could cause the affected system to stop responding.
This is rated "important" rather than critical by Microsoft. (See the Microsoft Security Response Center Security Bulletin Severity Rating System for a description of their rating system and the criteria for each category). As a consequence of a couple "critical" defects in this monthly batch, this particular defect doesn't seem to be getting the attention it probably deserves. These types of DoS vulnerabilities are sometimes used by botnets and worms, which are frequently under control of an attacker once they have penetrated a network and spread inside it. If used by a botnet, this DoS could result in the shutdown of a large number of systems, some critical, in a very short amount of time. Brian Krebs of the Washington Post discusses two of the other vulnerabilties announced today which are rated "critcal" by Microsoft in is blog entry today, Microsoft Isues 7 Patches at Security Fix

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