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Users warned of hole in Win2000 and XP

Daniel Thomas
The Cert Co-ordination Centre and Microsoft have warned businesses about a security hole in the Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems.

Cert, a US-based security centre, said the buffer overrun vulnerability in the Workstation Service, a Windows component, is well suited to exploitation by an internet worm and would allow malicious hackers to remotely attack and compromise vulnerable systems.

As part of its new monthly patching initiative, Microsoft last Wednesday released patches for three "critical" security flaws and a fourth defect in Microsoft Office that was rated "important".

The Cert advisory about the Workstation Service is similar to an advisory the organisation issued in October after Microsoft revealed that there was a security hole in the Windows Messenger Service.

Like Workstation Service, Windows Messenger Service is enabled by default on many versions of Windows and contained a buffer overrun vulnerability that made it an attractive target for hackers and virus writers.

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