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Microsoft warns older Windows users of security flaw

2010-03-04 08:29 BJT

BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Microsoft has warned of a new security hole that could be exploited by attackers to take control of older Windows systems running Internet Explorer and for which proof-of-concept exploit code has been released publicly.

The vulnerability affects Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003-based systems, Microsoft said in a security advisory dated March 1.

Microsoft said that the vulnerability in VBScript could allow remote code execution of computers. "If a malicious Web site displayed a specially crafted dialog box and a user pressed the F1 key, arbitrary code could be executed in the security context of the currently logged-on user," Microsoft said on its Web site, "On systems running Windows Server 2003, Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration is enabled by default, which helps to mitigate against this issue." Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 are not affected.

The advisory includes several workarounds, including advice to avoid pressing the F1 key when prompted by a Web site.

It also suggests restricting access to the Windows Help System, setting Internet and Local intranet security zone settings to "high" to block ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting, and configuring Internet Explorer to prompt before running Active Scripting or disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone.

Microsoft complained in its advisory and a statement that the vulnerability was not responsibly disclosed.

Editor: Zheng Limin | Source: Xinhua