By Gregg Keizer
July 17, 2010
Microsoft on Friday warned that attackers are exploiting a critical
unpatched Windows vulnerability using infected USB flash drives.
The bug admission is the first that affects Windows XP Service Pack 2
(SP2) since Microsoft retired the edition from support, researchers
said. When Microsoft does fix the flaw, it will not be providing a patch
for machines still running XP SP2.
In a security advisory, Microsoft confirmed what other researchers had
been saying for almost a month: Hackers have been exploiting a bug in
Windows "shortcut" files, the placeholders typically dropped on the
desktop or into the Start menu to represent links to actual files or
"In the wild, this vulnerability has been found operating in conjunction
with the Stuxnet malware," Dave Forstrom, a director in Microsoft's
Trustworthy Computing group, said in a post Friday to a company blog.
Stuxnet is a clan of malware that includes a Trojan horse that downloads
further attack code, including a rootkit that hides evidence of the
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