Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Home or Biz LAN? New Attack Out There

From Computerworld:

Hackers have published code that could let an attacker disable the Windows Firewall on certain Windows XP machines.

The code, which was posted on the Internet early Sunday morning, could be used to disable the Windows Firewall on a fully patched Windows XP PC that was running Windows' Internet Connection Service (ICS). This service allows Windows users to essentially turn their PC into a router and share their Internet connection with other computers on the local area network (LAN.) It is typically used by home and small-business users.

...the attacker would have to be within the LAN in order to make the attack work, and, of course, it would only work on systems using ICS, which is disabled by default. Furthermore, the attack would have no effect on any third-party firewall being used by the PC, Reguly said.
Users can avoid the attack by disabling ICS, Reguly said. But this will also kill the shared Internet connection.

An easier solution, may be for ICS users to simply move their networks onto a router or NAT (Network Address Translation) device, said Stefano Zanero, chief technology officer with Secure Network SRL. "They are so cheap right now, and in many cases they offer better protection and a easier administration of your LAN," he said via instant message.

There. You've been warned.

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