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Russian hackers sell WMF exploits

Date: February 05, 2006
Source: InformationWeek
By: Gregg Keizer

The Windows Metafile (WMF) bug that caused users -- and Microsoft -- so much grief in December and January spread like it did because Russian hackers sold an exploit to anyone who had the cash, a security researcher said Friday.

The bug in Windows' rendering of WMF images was serious enough that Microsoft issued an out-of-cycle patch for the problem in early January, in part because scores of different exploits lurked on thousands of Web sites, including many compromised legitimate sites. At one point, Microsoft was even accused of purposefully creating the vulnerability as a "back door" into Windows.

Alexander Gostev, a senior virus analyst for Moscow-based Kaspersky Labs, recently published research that claimed the WMF exploits could be traced back to an unnamed person who, around Dec. 1, 2005, found the vulnerability.

"It took a few days for exploit-enabling code to be developed," wrote Gostev in the paper published online, but by the middle of the month, that chore was completed. And then exploit went up for sale.
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