Security News in Brief

New vulnerability in Windows Me; new virus hits Outlook and Outlook Express; Cisco offers new intrusion protection and firewall extensions to several products; iWay, announces four new applications to

"Critical" Vulnerability in Windows Me

Microsoft released a security bulletin labeled "critical" for its Windows Me operating system (OS). As part of its Help and Support Center, the OS allows an "hcp://" prefix in browsers—in addition to the standard "http://"—and the "hcp//" prefix contains an unchecked buffer. As a result, attackers could construct a URL that, when loaded in a browser, would automatically execute code of the attacker's choosing. E-mail-borne attacks are a special concern, since users might click a "bad" URL sent in e-mail. Another concern is that for some versions of Outlook, attackers can craft e-mails that will automatically load URLs when the e-mail is received.

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“LoveGate” Computer Misses Valentine’s Day, Spreads Vulnerability

Lovgate.C, an e-mail worm that affects Outlook and Outlook Express, spread throughout Taiwan, Australia, France, and Japan last week. Updates for virus scanners slowed its U.S. spread. The worm mimics an auto-reply message, enticing users to click on it, at which point it e-mails itself to other people and installs a backdoor at port 10168. The backdoor lets remote users access and manipulate affected computers.

Trend Micro report:

Cisco expands range of integrated security

Cisco announced new intrusion protection and firewall extensions for a number of its security offerings, including IDS Software Version 4.0, the IDS 4250-XL Sensor and Catalyst 6500 Series Intrusion Detection System Services Module. The company also announced new Cisco Threat Response (CTR) technology. Cisco says CTR can help sites block intrusions, capture forensic evidence, and reduce false alarms by up to 95%.

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New domestic security applications for governments

iWay, part of business intelligence software company Information Builders Inc., announced four new applications to help government and public-sector organizations collect and analyze security information from a range of sources. The four areas covered are: bioterrorism detection and response, transportation, border, and port security, secure information sharing, and international student tracking. For example, the Integrated Justice Suite helps collaboration between federal, state, and local law enforcement and judicial agencies by integrating existing information systems and providing Web and e-mail-based information delivery.

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About the Author

Mathew Schwartz is a Contributing Editor for Enterprise Systems and is its Security Strategies column, as well as being a long-time contributor to the company's print publications. Mr. Schwartz is also a security and technology freelance writer.