Wednesday, January 04, 2006

WMF Exploit: It can become a Virus

A serious threat has been uncovered about the vulnerability of Windows' image viewer to being manipulated. So far, the only misuse has been in the form of adware and spyware being placed on the hard disks of users, but this can easily become a virus nightmare.

Read more about it (and how to protect your computer) at the about.com site.

Also, please take the following steps immediately to protect your computer until Microsoft figures out how to fix the problem:
  • Disable Google Desktop if you have it
  • Disable Picasa if you have it
  • Disable HTML in your email client
  • Do not open email attachments with names ending with .wmf, .jpg, .jpeg, .bmp, .dib, .gif, .emf, .jiff, .jpe, .png, .tif, .tiff and of course, .scr
  • Disable images in your browser (for gawd's sake, if not your own, PLEASE shift to Mozilla Firefox IMMEDIATELY) when you visit unknown sites (like, when you do a search)
EVERY user of Windows from Windows 98 upwards is at risk. If you've stored your data on partitions other than the C Drive, you may still be able to recover your data if Windows does crash as a result of this problem. If you haven't, back up your data NOW! Shut down all Internet activity and copy your data to a hard disk partition or CDs.

Better safe than sorry.

Deepak

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