TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Microsoft Warns of Critical Windows Security Flaws

Microsoft Warns of Critical Windows Security Flaws

Reuters News Wire (
Tue, 13 Dec 2005 23:30:55 -0600

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday warned users of its Windows operating
system of a "critical" security flaw in its software that could allow
attackers to take complete control of a computer.

The world's largest software maker issued a patch to fix the problem
as part of its monthly security bulletin. The problem mainly affects
the Windows operating system and Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web

Computer security experts and Microsoft urged users to download and
install the patch available at

Microsoft said the vulnerability exists in its Internet Explorer Web
browser, which an attacker could exploit to take over a PC by running
software code after luring users to malicious Web pages.

Microsoft also issued one other security warning it rated at its
second-highest level of "important."

A vulnerability defined as "important" is one where an outsider could
break into a machine and gain access to confidential data but not
replicate itself to other computers, Microsoft said.

Microsoft defines a flaw as "critical" when the vulnerability could
allow a damaging Internet worm to replicate without the user doing
anything to the machine.

The "critical" flaw affects Internet Explorer which is a part of
Windows while the "important" flaw is a vulnerability in the
fundamental code that the higher level functions of Windows are all
based on.

For more than three years, Microsoft has been working to improve the
security and reliability of its software as more and more malicious
software targets weaknesses in Windows and other Microsoft software.

More than 90 percent of the world's personal computers run on the
Windows operating system.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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