JPEG exploit toolkit spotted online

    Date25 Sep 2004
    CategoryHacks/Cracks
    4444
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    A toolkit designed to exploit a recently-disclosed Microsoft JPEG vulnerability has been released onto the net. . . . A toolkit designed to exploit a recently-disclosed Microsoft JPEG vulnerability has been released onto the net. The toolkit makes it trivially easy for maliciously-minded attackers, however unskilled they might be, to exploit unpatched Windows systems and run malicious code.

    The attack mechanism used here takes advantage of a recently discovered flaw in the way Microsoft applications process JPEG image files. Malformed JPEG files are capable of triggering a buffer overflow in a common Windows component (the GDI+ image viewing library), it was revealed last week. This behaviour creates a ready mechanism to inject exploit code into vulnerable systems. Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 make use of vulnerable library by default. Other Windows OSes might be vulnerable, depending on what applications users have installed.

    Microsoft, which unsurprisingly rates the vulnerability as critical, released a patch to defend against the flaw on 14 September. To be at risk, users have to open a JPEG file modified to trigger the flaw using either IE or Outlook. They also need to be unpatched. Unfortunately there's plenty of scope for both conditions to be met and the gene pool of potential victims is huge.

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