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09 Nov 2005

Patch now! Microsoft issues fix for critical security vulnerability

Microsoft has described the vulnerability as critical
Microsoft has described the vulnerability as critical.

As part of its monthly patch distribution, Microsoft has issued a critical security update for users of Windows XP, Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, and Windows Server 2003. The critical patch address a remote code execution flaw which could be exploited by hackers to break into vulnerable computers.

"This flaw in Microsoft's software is connected to the way it renders WMF and EMF graphics. A malicious hacker could send an email or direct users to a website which contained an image which could then run code without the user's consent. It's critical that businesses and home users protect against them as a matter of priority," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "In the past, malicious attacks have followed soon after Microsoft's announcement of problems with its software, so it's important that people take action now to ensure their PCs are properly defended."

Home users of Microsoft Windows can visit windowsupdate.microsoft.com to have their systems scanned for critical Microsoft security vulnerabilities.

Sophos recommends that every IT manager responsible for security should consider subscribing to vulnerability mailing lists such as that operated by Microsoft at www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/notify.mspx.

Sophos continues to recommend companies protect their desktops and servers with automatically updated anti-virus protection.

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.