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IDG News Service — Nearly a month after a Google engineer released details of a new Windows XP flaw, criminals have dramatically ramped up online attacks that leverage the bug.Microsoft reported Wednesday that it has now logged more than 10,000 attacks. "At first, we only saw legitimate researchers testing innocuous proof-of-concepts. Then, early on June 15th, the first real public exploits emerged," Microsoft said in a blog posting. "Those initial exploits were targeted and fairly limited. In the past week, however, attacks have picked up."The attacks, which are being launched from malicious Web pages, are concentrated in the U.S., Russia, Portugal, Germany and Brazil, Microsoft said. PCs based in Russia and Portugal, in particular, are seeing a very high concentration of these attacks, Microsoft said.According to security vendor Symantec, these attacks peaked late last week. "Symantec has seen increased activity around this vulnerability. The increased activity started around June 21 and peaked around June 26 and 27," a company spokesman said via instant message Wednesday. Attacks have leveled out since then, he added.Criminals are using the attack code to download different malicious programs, including viruses, Trojans and software called Obitel, which simply downloads more malware, Microsoft said.The flaw that's exploited in all of these attacks lies in the Windows Help and Support Center software that comes with Windows XP. It was disclosed on June 10 by Google researcher Tavis Ormandy. This Help Center software also ships with Windows Server 2003, but that operating system is apparently not vulnerable to the attack, Microsoft said.Ormandy was criticized by some in the security community for not giving Microsoft more time to patch the flaw, which he disclosed to the software vendor on June 5. He released details of the bug five days later, apparently after failing to convince Microsoft to fix the issue within 60 days.In a security advisory released June 10, Microsoft outlines several ways to turn off the Windows Help Center Protocol (HCP).Microsoft's next set of security updates are due July 13.
Users and programs can execute URL links to Help and Support Center by using the "hcp://" prefix in a URL link instead of "http://".What is the HCP Protocol? Similar to the HTTP protocol which is used to execute URL links to open a Web browser, the HCP protocol can be used to execute URL links to open the Help and Support Center feature.Are third-party applications affected by this issue? Yes. Third-party applications, primarily Web browsers, are affected by this issue if they are capable of handling the HCP protocol.What causes this threat? The Windows Help and Support Center does not properly validate URLs when using the HCP Protocol.........Impact of Workaround: Unregistering the HCP protocol will break all local, legitimate help links that use hcp://. For example, links in Control Panel may no longer work.
win7 has just as many problems... just in different areas...
to be honest, ive heard of problems with win 7 the dame as vista has problems,i know a room host on here crashes every day if she dont reboot every day, shes on vista,i know another, she would crash every day, sometimes more than once, and that started the day after she installed win 7
Windows 7 runs much better than xp ever did.
Quote from: viceWindows 7 runs much better than xp ever did.you buying the disc for me? .... or the new hardware? ... win7 may be installable on a p3 (w/ 256mb ram) but i bet it doesnt run too well... (if it aint broke... dont fix it.. if its end of life... time to switch to linux...)that being said win7 is nice ... background defrag.. the 'superbar' ... UAC that... while annoying as hell allows install as admin but run as user (running as root in linux is a no no.. took MS creating user annoyance control to get vendors to figure this one out for windows... unfortunatly older apps... such as winmx... arent so happy about it...) amongst many other usefull things... (too many to list basically)... ...that being said however... by 2014 when xp is nolonger supported in any form... i plan to have either linux with wine or reactos (if its to a useable point) installed on what used to be the one-token windows box... i dont see win7 as 'worth it' for my own uses...
The simple fact of the matter here is that an older windows operating system is still the most used and most popular and thus most likely to work well for longer, downgrading to whatever O/s vendors want to sell you is hardly a reason to change anything, I cant think of anything I need that XP does not offer, perhaps not all folks can say that but the stats show its the view of the majority.