Hundreds of Windows Apps Could Contain Critical Bug

Pulkit Chandna

Security researcher HD Moore thought he had let the cat out of the bag when he referred to a widespread Windows vulnerability in a tweet on Wednesday. But as it turns out, Moore may have failed to fully gauge the scale of the issue, which he thought affected “about 40 different apps, including the Windows shell.” Mitja Kolsek, CEO of Slovenian security company Arcos, reckons that “most every Windows application has this vulnerability.” Moore had linked to a security advisory issued by Arcos in his tweet.

"We examined a bunch of applications, more than 220 from about 100 leading software vendors, and found that most every one had the vulnerability,” Kolsek told Computer World . “These vulnerabilities' critical impact and relative ease of exploitation present a serious threat to basically all Windows machines.”

The “remote binary planting” vulnerability can be exploited quite easily using malicious files, according to Kolsek. “The main enabler for this attack is the fact that Windows includes the current working directory in the search order when loading executables."

Both Kolsek and Moore fear that the affected applications might have to be patched individually, as patching Windows could disrupt existing applications.

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