The risk of an attack related to a flaw in Microsoft Outlook Express climbed this week, after underground hacking sites began circulating sample code for exploiting it. The exploit, which the French Security Incident Response Team drew attention to on Monday, is designed to take complete control of PCs with certain versions of the Outlook Express e-mail program installed on them, when users visit newsgroups controlled by the hackers.
But security experts said the risk of a widespread attack is low, because people must visit the malicious newsgroups for an attack to work. In addition, the exploit code that’s in circulation has some glitches, said Michael Sutton, a lab director at security company iDefense. The vulnerability has been found in several versions of Outlook Express, including releases 5.5 and 6.0 for Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003 machines, according to Microsoft. People don’t have to launch the Outlook Express program, however, in order to fall victim to an attack.
News source: Zdnet