back to article Unofficial fix issued for Vista networking flaw

A system-crashing bug with potential malware implications has been uncovered in Vista. But a fix for the vulnerability, which revolves around flaws in the operating system's network stack, may have to wait until the next service pack. The TCP/IP stack buffer overflow was discovered by security researchers at Austrian firewall …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    How about a fix for Vista's random wireless network disconnects?

    I'd be more interested in a fix for Vista's random wireless network disconnects that seemingly can only be cured by a reboot.

  2. Dean
    Stop

    The Official Fix

    The official Vista fix can be found in the form of an XP Pro install CD.

  3. g00p
    Thumb Down

    How about a fix for..

    ..Vista?...something that functions effectively would be a start...

  4. Mark
    Linux

    Vista UAC

    Vista UAC will protect against this. Unless someone is foolish enough to turn it off.

  5. Jodo Kast

    XP is immune

    FTA: XP is immune.

    It's a shame Microsoft is too blind to realize what assets they have, before, ya know, they destroy them.

    Let's hope Microsoft gets off it's high horse and supports XP until the users don't want to use it anymore... and not the other way around.

    I still can't believe that MS is dictating that I should use an insecure OS... honestly.

  6. Ian North

    Hmmm

    "The vulnerability affects Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Vista in both 32 and 64 bit flavours of the operating system"

    Possibly a daft question but does this mean that it hasn't been tested on the other editions or does it mean that the other editions don't have this flaw?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: AC

    It's called upgrade. Your choice if you prefer XP or Linux.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC: It's cliché...

    ...install XP.

    =P

  9. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Absurd

    "A fix for the flaw from Microsoft is unlikely until the next service pack for Vista, according to Thomas Uterleitner of Phion."

    That's a stunning suggestion. The BugTraq post makes it quite clear that the cause is simply trusting a "number of bytes to copy" parameter, rather than validating it. That would be a two-line fix then, with NO change in the intended behaviour, for something that allows privilege escalation. It was reported on 22nd October, so it probably missed the deadline for November's patches (these things have to be regression tested), but I'd expect to see it next month. If you can't regression test a "no-op" in less than a month, there's something wrong with your process.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Lyall
    Unhappy

    I hear that

    Random wireless network disconnections that require a reboot make me a saaaaaaaaaaaaaad panda.

  12. Pierre Silver badge

    "The potential damage to the smooth operation of applications [...]"

    C'mon, you're talking about Vista here. Potential damage to the what what of what?

  13. Kanhef
    Stop

    Hold on there

    Here's a flaw that allows injection of hostile code, with no estimate on when it will be patched. Yet we're told that it's not worth defending against. If I were a malware author, I'd love to have a vulnerability that I know won't be fixed for several months. So what if it's a bit tricky – there's plenty of time to work on it.

    Interesting to note it doesn't affect XP, which means it's something new they introduced in Vista.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    @At least..(Mark Legosz)

    "At least there aren't that many people using Vista.."

    But lots and lots and lots more than use Linux.

  15. John O'Hare
    Linux

    Next service pack

    "A fix for the flaw from Microsoft is unlikely until the next service pack for Vista, according to Thomas Uterleitner of Phion."

    So that's Windows Seven isn't it?

  16. W
    Heart

    Re: "random wireless network disconnects"

    Uh-huh. That would be my #1 fix request.

    Followed by the removal of whatever instigates that green address bar thingy in Windows Explorer, and the associated wait that comes with it.

    Followed by the reinstatement of the slideshow view of photos in WindowsExplorer.

    Followed by the option of an "Up one level" icon.

    Other than that, things are decent enough - insofar as I don't actually recall Vista ever crashing on me. Although the same could be said for XP since SP2.

    But that's just me.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vista's random wireless network disconnects

    Try skulking about in a more upscale neighbourhood. Shutting off the car engine helps to keep the connection alive.

  18. Andy Worth

    Lol

    I just knew when I clicked on the comments that there would be plenty of posts saying things along the lines of "The unofficial fix is to install XP".

    The sad thing is that it is actually true.

  19. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
    Stop

    I must have Vista

    I am forced to use Vista as all my important applications won't run on XP.

    No hang on, I mean I chose to use XP since some things I do are still a bit tricky on Linux and Vista.

    Unless Microsoft can break XP then people will still keep using it.

    How about they change the look of XP and call it Vista XP. You can re-skin your website using CSS so why not reskin XP?

  20. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    @Ian North

    "Possibly a daft question but does this mean that it hasn't been tested on the other editions or does it mean that the other editions don't have this flaw?"

    It's all in the BugTraq posting. They've only tested those two editions. Given the nature of the flaw, they presume that other editions are affected.

    Also, note that you have to run the malware as an Administrator or a Network Configuration Operator to be at risk. In the first case, you've already lost, so unless you have some of your users in the second group, it isn't strictly a vulnerability. (That's probably why they haven't bothered to check the more domesticated editions.)

  21. Leo Davidson

    RTFB

    The only people who can exploit the bug are members of the Network Configuration Operators group. (Administrators already have full access to the machine so there's nothing for them to exploit.)

    Number of users in that group by default: Zero.

    I'm sure there are a few cases where people are using that group, and Microsoft's slow response at issuing what should be a trivial fix -- just bounds-check the input -- for a bug that will be serious to some is a disgrace, but let's keep things in perspective. This won't affect many people and blanket "lol, you shoud go back to XP" statements are ignorant & stupid.

  22. James Silver badge

    Re: Absurd

    You're forgetting about all the legitimate Microsoft services running in the background that are explicitly using this 'feature'.

  23. Mark

    Random disconnects

    I find switching off my wireless card then back on again results in a reconnect 99% of the time on my Toshiba.

    Still a massive pain in the backside though, and why I mostly use XP still (and I'd have to admit that I like Vista, I don't have any other problems when using it)

  24. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    @Leo Davidson

    "Administrators already have full access to the machine so there's nothing for them to exploit."

    Uh, sorry, but I think that since they are Admins of the machine, any exploit they attempt to use will obviously succeed.

    So it's not "there's nothing for them to exploit", but more like "there's nothing to protect them from an exploit".

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Other vunarable systems

    Also affects windows server 2008, as shown by a quick test.

    I'm not so concerned about malware as I am for the potential to crash a system because of a failure to validate an input parameter!

  26. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: How about a fix for Vista's random wireless network disconnects?

    HEAR HEAR!!!

  27. Constanze Liebenau

    Unofficial Fix

    All,

    please note that phion HAS NOT published an unofficial vix for the Vista vulnerability but a remedy for its netfence entegra product.

    Thanks,

    Constanze

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