Microsoft: Out-of-Cycle Security Patch Coming

Microsoft plans to release an out-of-cycle security
patch next week to fix a software flaw that led to the sophisticated
Download.Ject malware attack, company officials disclosed on Wednesday.

The company will release the patch, which is currently being tested, next week as
a “critical” security update to provide a “long-term solution to the core
vulnerability” that led to the Download.Ject attack.

Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft group product manager for Internet
Explorer, made the announcement, saying the patch would cover IE versions 5.01,
5.5 and 6.0.

The software giant has already released a Trojan
detection and removal tool
to help PC users clean up after the attack, which
targeted well-known software flaws to install keystroke loggers and other
malicious code on infected systems.

The 118 kilobyte removal tool is programmed to remove the payload
delivered by the server-side Download.Ject Trojan. The Trojan, also known as
Scob, exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s IIS 5.0 servers and IE
to distribute malware programs. It started spreading
late last month after unknown attackers uploaded a small file with
JavaScript to infected Web sites running Microsoft IIS 5.0 servers.

A user visiting an infected site with IE automatically became infected
with the JavaScript, which triggered a download from a Russian Web site. The
download included Trojan horse programs like keystroke loggers, proxy
servers and other back doors providing full access to the infected
system.

In addition to the Trojan detection and removal tool, Microsoft issued a
slew of Windows configuration changes
aimed at thwarting the Download.Ject attack. Hachamovitch said
that those changes did not provide a complete fix to
the core vulnerability.

“Our users should have confidence that as long as they’re running the
latest browser with all the latest security fixes, they will have the
most powerful and secure browsing experience,” Hachamovitch said.

Microsoft is also testing a clean-up tool for the latest mutant of the
MyDoom virus that started squirming
through major search engines earlier this week. The virus has
been programmed to launch of distributed Denial of Service attacks
against the Microsoft.com home page.

When it’s released, the tool will be available for download here.

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