We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Critical Visual Studio 2005 exploit

Microsoft admits flaw in developer tool

A vulnerability in Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2005 application development tool could let an attacker execute code on a targeted Windows machine, the company has revealed.

Danish security vendor Secunia AsP rated the vulnerability as 'extremely critical' since it hasn't been patched and there are unconfirmed reports it's being exploited, said Thomas Kristensen, chief technology officer at the firm.

Microsoft said proof-of-concept attack code has been published, and the company could eventually issue a patch after its investigation. The software giant typically issues patches on the second Tuesday of the month, although it has been known to push out a patch earlier, depending on the risk of the vulnerability.

"We are aware of the possibility of limited attacks that are attempting to use the reported vulnerability," wrote Christopher Budd, a security program manager on Microsoft's Security Center Response blog.

The vulnerability lies in an Active X control called the WMI Object Broker control, contained in the WmiScriptUtils.dll, Microsoft said. For a successful attack, a user would have to be lured to a website designed to exploit the flaw. Microsoft cautioned against following links in emails from unknown senders, since those could lead to an attacker's site.

Microsoft posted several mitigating factors that would head off attacks. For example, the particular ActiveX control is not included in the default allow list for IE7 (Internet Explorer 7.0).

Also, those running Visual Studio 2005 on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 SP1 in their default configurations – with the Enhanced Security Configuration turned on – are not affected, Microsoft wrote.

If an attack was successful, the hacker would only have the same rights as a local user, so Microsoft said those accounts configured with fewer rights than an administrator might cause less of an impact.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model