Microsoft: DNS patch to come by May 8... maybe

Microsoft: DNS patch to come by May 8... maybe
Microsoft: DNS patch to come by May 8... maybe 

By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
April 18, 2007

Microsoft hopes to fix by May 8 a critical flaw in Windows Domain Name 
System (DNS) servers that is being exploited by online criminals, the 
company said late Tuesday.

Microsoft has been under pressure to address the flaw, reported last 
week, since software that exploits it has now been widely disseminated, 
and criminals are beginning to use it in attacks. On Monday, security 
experts confirmed that variants of the Rinbot worm (also called Nirbot 
by some vendors) had been scanning networks for vulnerable systems and 
then attempting to exploit the DNS bug.

Microsoft characterizes the level of attacks as "not widespread."

The problem affects Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 systems, which 
can be tricked into running unauthorized software when an attacker sends 
them maliciously encoded RPC (Remote Procedure Call) packets to the DNS 
server. The latest versions of Windows 2000 Professional, XP and Vista 
are not vulnerable to this attack.

Microsoft has published a workaround for the problem, and the software 
vendor is weighing whether to step up its response and fix it ahead of 
May 8, the date of the company's next scheduled security update.

"While we don't have a firm estimate on when we'll complete our 
development and testing of updates for this issue, we have teams around 
the world working on it twenty-four hours a day, and hope to have 
updates no later than May 8, 2007," wrote Microsoft security program 
manager Christopher Budd, in a Tuesday blog posting. "However, this is a 
developing situation and we are constantly evaluating the situation and 
the status of our development and testing of updates," he added.

Microsoft was in a similar situation three weeks ago when attackers 
began exploiting a similarly critical flaw in the software used by 
Windows to read animated cursor files. Ultimately, Microsoft was forced 
to release an early patch for that flaw.

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