This article highlights a security vulnerability that has been detected in Microsoft windows NT-based operating systems. The security vulnerability was first discussed on December 27,2005 and attacks followed 24 hours later. Let us take you through about how to safeguard your computer against a potential spy-ware attack.
The vulnerability is found in your system32 folder, and the file concerned is gdi32.dll. The gdi32.dll is a dynamic link library for the windows GDI(Graphical device interface) containing pre-defined functions to render 2-D images. Now, the vulnerability arises in the way your operating system handles Windows Metafile (WMF) vector images and allows random code to be executed on a remote machine.
This security vulnerability allows malware to get downloaded through drive-by downloads. Now, although windows metafile is extensively supported by all windows systems, systems from windows XP onwards have been found to be particularly vulnerable as they provide a handler and reader for the metafile in their default installation.
Machines running Macintosh, Linux etc are not directly infected. But there is a possible risk of infection if they execute a third party application which has the capability to render Windows Metafiles in non-windows platform. You can get your computer checked for this vulnerability by clicking here.
Typically, after installing anti-virus and anti-spyware, we think our job is done and that the computer is secure. But this just goes to show that, new vulnerabilities keep popping up. Although i have a robust system, on running a scan to detect if my computer is susceptible to this vulnerability, i found that i have a failed defense! Check this out :
- Your only defense against this metafile vulnerability, is to ensure that you keep your automatic updates on, by default.
- Microsoft since then has released a patch. You can manually download the patch by clicking here.
- If you run the same scan once again, you will find that the vulnerability has been taken care of and there are probably no back doors in your computer!
So go ahead guys, patch your computer against this. Do let us know if you have any questions or comments to share.