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BugBlog Report 10/16/05: Microsoft, Sony, Apple

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Here are some of the most significant bugs from the past week in the BugBlog.

Four separate bugs that are present in most versions of Windows may allow a remote attacker to take complete of a Windows system. The most vulnerable version is Windows 2000, where a remote attacker may be able to take advantage of a bug in Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator. This bug has a security rating of Critical for Windows XP Service Pack 1, along with Windows 2000. Microsoft urges those users to apply patches from http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms05-051.mspx immediately. Other versions of Windows, including Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003, are vulnerable only if they are configured in a certain way. Microsoft credits eEye Digital Security, Cesar Cerrudo, and iDefense for finding these bugs.

If a .PNG or .BMP graphic with a white background is inserted into a Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint or Word document, the graphic may appear on screen with an off-white background. If you print the document, the background may show up as gray. Microsoft says you need to switch graphic formats to restore your white background. Open the graphic in a graphics editor and resave it as a .GIF, .JPG or .TIF file.

A malicious piece of software, called Trojan.PSPBrick, can turn your Sony Playstation Portable into a brick. The software pretends to be an unauthorized system hack that will disable Sony’s software protection. What it actually does is delete system files that will prevent the Playstation from booting, apparently ever again. It also displays a taunting message on the Playstation that ends with

Symantec says they don’t know of any way of resuscitating the Playstation, and chances are, Sony’s not going to be too understanding about it. Read the details, and see a way to remove the Trojan from a Windows computer, at http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/trojan.pspbrick.html.

In Apple Mac OS X 10.4, if you are manually typing a fax number into the To: field, and the first part of the number being typed in is the same as another number already in your Address Book, the Fax application may get confused. Apple says that letters may get added or replace some of the numbers you type. For now the only workaround is to pay attention — if you see letters appear as you are typing in the numbers, you need to go back and type the numbers again, but without deleting the letters. Only after the whole number has been added should you go back and delete the letters. See http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302229 in case Apple comes up with another fix.

See the BugBlog for continuing coverage of bugs and other things that go wrong with your computer.

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