Microsoft critical vulnerability — quel surprise

Microsoft last night sent out an urgent security bulletin to all eOpen members via e-mail, which I quote verbatim:

Subject: Alert – Critical Product Vulnerability – October 23, 2008 Microsoft Security Bulletin Release (Out of Band)

Due the urgency of this bulletin, you have received this notification in English. If your specified language preference is French, we will send you a French language version as soon as it becomes available. Thank you for your understanding.

What is the purpose of this alert?

This alert is to provide you with an overview of the new security bulletin released (out of band) on October 23, 2008. Microsoft has released security bulletin MS08-067, Vulnerability in Server Service Could Allow Remote Code Execution (958644), to address a vulnerability in all currently supported versions of Windows. This security update was released outside of the usual monthly security bulletin release cycle in an effort to protect customers.

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in the Server service. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if an affected system received a specially crafted RPC request. On Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 systems, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability without authentication to run arbitrary code. It is possible that this vulnerability could be used in the crafting of a wormable exploit. Firewall best practices and standard default firewall configurations can help protect network resources from attacks that originate outside the enterprise perimeter. The security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting the way that the Server service handles RPC requests.


Microsoft recommends customers prepare their systems and networks to apply this security bulletin immediately once released to help ensure that their computers are protected from attempted criminal attacks. For more information about security updates, visit

New Security Bulletin Technical Details



Severity Rating

This security update is rated Critical for all supported editions of Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and rated Important for all supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

Impact of Vulnerability

Remote Code Execution


Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer can detect whether your computer system requires this update.

Affected Software

All currently supported versions of Windows

Restart Requirement

The update requires a restart.

Removal Information

· For Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003: Use Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel or the Spuninst.exe utility

· For Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008: WUSA.exe does not support uninstall of updates. To uninstall an update installed by WUSA, click Control Panel, and then click Security. Under Windows Update, click View installed updates and select from the list of updates.

Bulletins Replaced by This Update

MS06-040 is superseded on these operating systems: Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP X64, Windows Server 2003 SP1, Windows Server 2003 X64, Windows Server 2003 SP1 for Itanium-based Systems.

Full Details:

Public Bulletin Webcast

Microsoft will host a Webcast to address customer questions on the bulletin:

Title: Information Regarding an Out-of-Band Security Bulletin Release (Level 200)

Date: Friday, October 24, 2008 11:00 A.M. Pacific Time (U.S. & Canada)


Regarding Information Consistency

We strive to provide you with accurate information in static (this mail) and dynamic (Web-based) content. Microsoft’s security content posted to the Web is occasionally updated to reflect late-breaking information. If this results in an inconsistency between the information here and the information in Microsoft’s Web-based security content, the information in Microsoft’s Web-based security content is authoritative.

If you have any questions regarding this alert please contact your Technical Account Manager or Application Development Consultant.

Thank you,

Microsoft CSS Security Team

So it was urgent enough to spam their license-holders via e-mail, and it’s predictive of the next big worm.  In the past, these e-mails have been remarkably prescient — probably because hackers read these e-mails at the same time and are well aware that people regularly leave their boxes unpatched for months at a time.  If you’re using any Microsoft OS, patch your shit now before it hits the fan.

Microsoft critical vulnerability — quel surprise
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3 thoughts on “Microsoft critical vulnerability — quel surprise

  1. 1

    Suppose the cable companies will patch against it, while Telus chooses to go unprotected in an attempt to get their customers to do their windows updates? 🙂

  2. 2

    Let’s try this again.
    Suppose the cable companies will patch against it, while Telus chooses to leave themselves unprotected in an effort to get their customers to do their windows updates?

  3. 3

    Yeah, I dunno what’s going on man.  I unspammed the other one, but I guess Akismet has decided you work for spammers.

    Eastlink and Aliant are going to be hit equally by this, because there’s a very big backlash against trying to block certain ports lately.  But if they don’t, and it’s Blaster Part 2, then Telus gets what they deserve for not learning from the mistakes of yesteryear when their customers leave in droves.

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