Windows users are vulnerable to malware via images


Cyber attacks, mostly in the Middle East and Southern Asia, have revealed weaknesses within Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

The company has sent out an alert, warning those that use Microsoft Office versions 2003-2010, Microsoft Lync, Windows Server 2008 and Microsoft Windows Vista, that there is a weakness in Microsoft’s graphics component; more specifically, the vulnerability is with how these software packages handle TIFF images. Hackers can use this weakness to gain user rights, giving them remote control, and these weaknesses can be exploited by going to the wrong website, downloading attachments, or through emails as well.

“Upon completion of this investigation, Microsoft will take the appropriate action to help protect our customers,” the company said. “This may include providing a security update through our monthly release process or providing an out-of-cycle security update, depending on customer needs.”

It’s nice to know that they’re working on it at least.

Dustin Childs, who is a group manager for incident response communications at Microsoft, recommended a few ways to protect yourself on his blog.  “As a best practice, we always encourage customers to follow the Protect Your Computer guidance of enabling a firewall, applying all software updates and installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software,” he said. “We also encourage customers to exercise caution when visiting websites and avoid clicking suspicious links or opening email messages from unfamiliar senders.”

What do you think about the situation? Let us know in the comments.

[via The Telegraph, Microsoft]

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