Zombie Vulnerability Affects Every Version of Windows

Illustration for article titled Zombie Vulnerability Affects Every Version of Windows

A team of researchers recently found a zombie vulnerability that affects every single version of Windows—including the Windows 10 preview. Microsoft has no plans to fix the vulnerability.

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The vulnerability is a zombie, because it’s an undead version of a vulnerability that first appeared in 1997. Working with Cylance, a team of security researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s CERT Division found the same weakness enables a new way of stealing usernames and passwords from Windows, as well as software from 31 different vendors, including Adobe, Apple, Oracle and Symantec.

Basically, a hacker can trick the Windows Server Message Block into surrendering log in credentials if the user clicks on a certain kind of link.

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Seems bad, right? Well, it’s worth pointing out that this vulnerability has only been recreated in the lab, it has not been exploited. So it’s not like a team of evil hackers have stolen millions of Microsoft passwords and gone on a shopping spree—though that already happened once this year. That said, Microsoft still hasn’t released a patch to fix the vulnerability, apparently because they think it would be too complicated to exploit.

Image via Shutterstock / Microsoft


Contact the author at adam@gizmodo.com.
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PGP fingerprint: 91CF B387 7B38 148C DDD6 38D2 6CBC 1E46 1DBF 22

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DISCUSSION

JesusTheVampireSlayer

I forgot my password to an old windows 7 laptop I have. After a minute on google, found a way to easily reset the password by tricking windows to bring out CMD on the login screen and a few command lines later, I have a new password. I like using windows but realizing how easy it was to change admin password on windows 7 is pretty unsettling.