Microsoft has issued a patch for a preliminary version of its Vista OS (operating system) for the same graphics-rendering problem that raised concerns about current versions of the Windows OS earlier this month.
The patch applies to a CTP (community technology preview) of Vista released in December, a version available to MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) Universal subscribers and beta testers, according to Microsoft's website. Vista isn't due to be released to the public until later this year.
The fix amends how Vista deals with graphics in the WMF (Windows Metafile) format, as those files could force a machine to run arbitrary code. If opened, WMF files (perhaps disguised with a suffix such as .jpg instead of the usual .wmf) could trigger the execution of code that tries to download more malicious software.
After the WMF vulnerability in Windows came to light last month, it caused a somewhat unorthodox response given the danger security experts felt it posed. One researcher created an unofficial patch, which some security organisations advised users to apply immediately. Meanwhile, Microsoft departed from its usual patch schedule – generally they are released on the second Tuesday of the month – and issued a fix on 5 January, while company officials sought to address concerns that it waited too long.