Microsoft looking into new SMB vulnerability report

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Investigation begins at Redmond.

Microsoft is investigating a researcher's claim that the software giant's newest operating system contains a vulnerability that could be exploited to crash systems.

Researcher Laurent Gaffie published proof-of-concept code that allows an attacker to exploit a vulnerability in Windows 7 and Server 2008 Release 2.

The flaw, detailed by Gaffie in a blog post last week, lies in the Windows Server Message Block (SMB) and requires no user interaction to exploit.

Attackers can remotely crash systems if a victim machine receives malformed packets, Jonathan Leopando, a member of the Trend Micro technical communications team, said in a blog post.

"Whatever your firewall is set to, you can get remotely smashed via IE (Internet Explorer) or even via some NBNS (NetBios Name Service) tricks," Gaffie said.

Christopher Budd, security response communications lead at Microsoft, said in a statement that the software giant is aware of the purported vulnerability, which is said to cause a denial-of-service attack.

"We're currently unaware of any attacks trying to use the claimed vulnerability or of customer impact," Budd said. "Once we're done investigating, we will take appropriate action to help protect customers."

Users are encouraged to block ports used by the SMB protocol until Microsoft offers workarounds or permanent fix,  Leopando said.

In October, Microsoft patched another serious vulnerability in the SMB protocol that Gaffie discovered.

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